About Bear River Valley Beef
"I just wanted to let you know that the beef is amazing! I love it. it is the best grass fed beef I have had thus far. I will spread the word on how good it is. If you are ever looking for people to help you distribute it in this area , let me know. Once anybody tries it, they will want more."
I was born and raised in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe and come from a farming background in Africa. I have been managing our Bonanza and Seattle ranches for over 25 years, which belong to my stepfather, Bill McBride, who is a fourth generation rancher.
My wife, Elizabeth, is from England and we have 3 boys, Ryan, Aaron and Matthew who are all enlisted in various ways to help on the ranch. Elizabeth has a Cooper Institute Certificate in Nutrition and Kinesiology and runs our farm office taking care of our online clients, shipping orders, and marketing as well as helping with various projects on the ranch. Our ranch is truly a family run operation.
After running a traditional cow/calf operation for many years and establishing a superior cow herd whose calves were sold into the commodity market, I realized that I could provide a much better product and service by retaining ownership of the cattle and provide a 100% grass fed product with a focus on consistent quality.
Our Ranch is comprised of two historic ranches, the Bonanza Ranch, and the Seattle Ranch, both located in the heart of the Bear River Valley among lush green pastures, with breathtaking views of the Valley and the Pacific Ocean from the top of the ranch. Located in Northern California's Humboldt County, Bear River Valley Beef is situated 15 miles south of the Victorian Village of Ferndale and 5 miles from the ocean, in the heart of giant Redwood country.
Our ranch consists of bottom pastures alongside the Bear River and mountainside ranges, where native grasses grow alongside Evergreen Fir trees. Spring water is fed into water troughs where cattle can easily drink their fill.
The Bonanza Ranch
The Bonanza Ranch was named in the 1860s when there was so much Indian depredation in the back country to the east that many ranchers moved their livestock to the coast where there was less trouble and more protection. As a result, many Bear River and Mattole ranges were seriously overgrazed. Apparently, overgrazing was, at that time, considered a permanent injury to a range. When Joseph Russ purchased what is now the "Bonanza Ranch" he was accused of being "land crazy" - that the range was "all ate out". "You just wait" countered Russ, "that ranch is going to be a Bonanza". And so it turned out to be and so it was named.
The Seattle Ranch
According to "Tales Remembered - How Ranches Got Their Names" written by the late Viola Russ McBride (Bill's Mom and daughter of Joseph Russ, one of the pioneers to settle this area), the Seattle Ranch was so named as the Alaska gold rush was on about the time this piece of land was acquired and everybody was talking about difficulties and opportunities at the take-off point, which was Seattle, Washington.
The Victorian Village of Ferndale, full of surprises, deserves more than a day to discover. 265 Miles north of San Francisco, it's a beautiful drive from the major airports (Sacramento, San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose) or fly into the Arcata/Eureka airport in McKinleyville, 45 minutes north of Ferndale. Ferndale is located in the Eel River delta, bordered by the Eel River on the north, the ocean on the west and the mountains to the south. The entire village is California Historical Landmark No. 883.