Rancher for a Day
Chef Gabriel Rucker visits an Eastern Oregon cattle ranch
Far from the sedate urban boundaries of Portland, James Beard Award-winning Chef Gabriel Rucker pays a call on the beef ranchers at Pickard Ranch near Baker City.
“I’ve never been this far east in Oregon, and I’ve lived here for years, so it is kind of nice to be out here,” he says.
Tall, lanky and always game for adventure, Rucker joins Clair and Patty Pickard for a day of work on the ranch. “These pretty much encourage moseying,” he says, having donned a pair of leather chaps over his jeans and sneakers.
Life out here is about moving the cows, running the herd dogs, feeding the calves and being good stewards of nature. “You have to promise to take care of the land,” Clair Pickard says, which means passing it on to the next generation. “We want it to be as good or better.”
Oregon ranchers are increasingly participating in the growth of the natural beef industry. To meet another Eastern Oregon cattle rancher, read our story on 6 Ranch.
Explore more: Book a room at the historic Geiser Grand Hotel in Baker City. This elegant hotel is a step back in time in a newly revived yet well preserved downtown. For more Eastern Oregon inspiration, check out our itinerary to plan your Escape to the Wallowa Mountains (one of the 7 Wonders of Oregon).
about author Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.
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