Leavitt Lake Ranches

Tehama County, California

In 2001, husband-and-wife team Darrell and Callie Wood sensed an emerging demand for grass-fed beef, so they committed their Leavitt Lake Ranches to raising only 100-percent grass-fed cattle.

Hailing from longtime ranching families, the Woods bought their first land near Susanville, California, in 1993. Their operation now encompasses more than 30,000 deeded and leased acres – home to their more than 750 Angus cows and a herd of yearlings. Continuing the family tradition, Darrell and Callie’s son and daughter are involved in the business today.

The Woods and their ranches have gained wide recognition for their environmental stewardship. In 2009, Darrell organized a partnership with California Rangeland Trust to help fund creation of conservation easements on working cattle ranches. “As ranchers, we have an obligation to preserve the rangelands for future generations,” says Wood. “I want my family to be able to stay in the cattle business. It’s a viable business—but it’s only viable if the rangelands are preserved.”