My grandpa Tom Campbell turns 93 today and I have the good fortune of raising my family in the home where he raised his and spent the majority of his life working on the land and with his livestock. They say every little kid should have a hero and I was no different. My grandpa Tom wasn't just a hero to me, he was a hero to the community and anyone who met him.
When he was a boy he was pulled from school to work on the family sheep ranch as the other boys had gone off to serve for their country in WWII and he was too young. Then at the ripe age of 23 Campbell Livestock purchased a ranch just outside Kimberly Oregon, along the North Fork of the John Day River and my grandpa, along with my grandma Claris settled here and raised 5 kids. The oldest being my dad who was born in 1951, two years after the ranch was purchased.
I've never met anyone who didn't have a good thing to say about my grandpa and of course everyone has a few stories to share from their time with him. He is a cowboy to the core and rode his horse to school every day from the age of 5 on and spent nearly every day in the saddle until his vision failed him in his eighties. An avid reader he was always up to speed on not only the ranching industry it seemed that he knew all the current events local and around the world.
My best memories as a boy and young adult were right here in Kimberly on this land. Many with my grandpa Tom and others fishing, hunting or enjoying a bbq with family. So many of my best memories were centered around the kitchen with grandpa telling everyone in the room story after story of years past. Grandpa is now in assisted living up in Condon and will be celebrating his birthday in the park with family. My brother now manages the cattle ranch, while Julie and I settled our family in grandpa's 100 year old home.
Grandpa worked the ranch well into his eighties, not unlike many ranchers in America today. Campbell Livestock turns 101 this year and many things have changed over that time since great grandpa Patrick started the large sheep ranch. Operations switched to cattle while my dad was in high school and we've watched as the cattle market has failed to keep pace with inflation. With the average age of the rancher approaching 65 and the decreasing value of cattle each year, more and more family ranches are being sold. We are quietly and quickly approaching the largest changing of hands in America since the Louisiana Purchase.
We knew that we didn't want this to happen to our family heritage, so Julie and I took a leap of faith. With my family running a traditional ranching operation, we weren't able to source Grass-fed Beef from our family, so we turned to our neighbors. In just over one year we have been able to deliver Right Lane Ranch Grass-fed beef to over 2,500 homes, in and around Oregon.
There have been so many lessons along the way and we continue to learn more every day. The growth of our business took us by surprise and we couldn't have anticipated what it would become. When Julie and I sat down a few weeks ago we both came to the realization that we were not creating a business that was true to our core. You see we started Right Lane Ranch with the intentions of finding a slower pace of life outside of the city. We had goals to help other farmers and ranchers not only carry on this same dream, but for them to keep their heritage alive as well.
With this in mind our focus is shifting from serving thousands of families our grass-fed beef to serving less than one hundred families our grass-fed beef and serving thousands of farmers and ranchers around the world. This shift within Right Lane Ranch will not only better fit our mission, it will allow us to maintain the quality and standards for all the customers we serve.
We expect this transition to take time and will likely mean that Julie and I take on additional jobs. Through the rest of the Summer I will be driving to the cities we serve to deliver the grass-fed beef orders that we have in person. After being in the Willamette Valley last weekend, today I'm headed to Seattle and will be planning out the rest of our deliveries soon. As well as planning upcoming bbqs in both Portland and here in Kimberly.
If you would like more information about how your family can be one of the 100 or fewer families to have Right Lane Ranch grass-fed beef on your dinner table going forward, feel free to click here for more info or just reply to this email with the subject line of "More Info" and we'll be happy to schedule a chat on the phone.
One last thing, in honor of my grandpa Tom's 93rd birthday, I'd like to officially announce our latest venture Ranching Stories. This will be a weekly journey through the history of ranches around the world as told by the family and friends who lived them. An amazing picture can be painted through a story, unfortunately these stories are much easier to lose than a painting. This will be just one of the many ways we begin our journey of helping to preserve the ranching heritage for years to come. If you'd like to be a part of this with you can find more info here.
Thanks so much for visiting,