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.

Flag as Incorrect

Is any of the information on this page incorrect?

If you liked this, you may be interested in our other Oregon Food Trips. Go see them here!

Learn about all of Oregon’s Food Trips

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

Share your thoughts Comments

Have something to say? Your Comment

  1. Your comment will be the first one for this story. Some might think of this as a lot of pressure, but as a trail blazer you recognize that someone has to be first. Your fellow travelers appreciate your opinion, so thanks in advance!


Sign up for the

Travel Oregon


Stay in touch and get the inside scoop for your next Oregon adventure. We'll deliver Oregon stories, itineraries, contests and ideas of where to eat + drink and get outdoors and explore - right to your inbox, every month.

Success! You're all signed up to receive Oregon trip ideas delivered right to your inbox.

Hmm, something went wrong, please try later.

can't wait to hear from us?

Follow us Online