Building Economic Stability and Prosperity
The soil in the Wood River Valley is some of the best in the world for raising grass-fed beef. Family farms and ranches have been doing that for five generations. In the fragile economy of our region, losing any of these ranches would be detrimental.
By mid-April, the cattle arrive in 500 large cattle trucks. During the course of the summer, the cattle put on enough weight that 750 trucks are needed to take them out of the valley and onto feed lots in Oregon, Washington, Colorado and as far away as Nebraska. Those six months help the cattle put on more than 300 pounds.
The quality of our beef reinforces our region's reputation year after year.
The ranches work in one of two ways:
- Owner-operated ranches like Nicholson Ranch, which has operated since 1895.
- Leased ranch land like the Kizer/Loosley Ranch, which was settled by one of the first homesteaders in the Wood River Valley, John Loosley in 1872.
Either way, these ranches have tremendous economic impact, not just on the families that own the land, but also on the local economy. That economic impact includes:
- Jobs created by ranches and affiliated businesses.
- Money spent in the local economies of Fort Klamath, Chiloquin, Bly and Klamath Falls.
- Money reinvested in the community through infrastructure improvements, property taxes.
The majority of ranches of the Upper Klamath Basin are not industrial operations; they're owned by families who are invested and committed to a thriving Upper Basin.
A water-sharing agreement with the Klamath Tribes would bring much needed stability to the region - allowing ranchers to plan for the next season and helping to guarantee sustainable fish populations.