K-BAR History & Legacy
The story of K-Bar Ranches begins at Dole Canyon, near Myrtle Creek, Oregon, in 1966. Kenneth and Glenna Bare purchased 664 acres of hillside pasture and farmland to raise mother cows and support their growing family. They chose the picturesque canyon for its feed resources, as well as proximity to the South Umpqua River, where abundant irrigation water was available to nourish the crops that were needed to support the ranching operation. Over the next several years, the Bare family expanded their operation, purchasing several nearby tracts as they became available, and growing their herd of mother cows. The family worked tirelessly to improve the hillside pastures and cultivate the rich bottomland farm ground.
In 1977, the opportunity to purchase a large parcel known as Round Prairie presented itself. Historically, Round Prairie was utilized by settlers to the area for its lush grass and abundant water, making it an ideal place to graze livestock through the spring and summer. By this time, Kenneth and Glenna’s two sons, Vern and Tim, had returned to the family ranch, and the Bare family made the decision to purchase Round Prairie.
The addition of Round Prairie to the operation effectively doubled the size of the ranch, and in 1979 K-Bar Ranches transitioned from raising mother cows and calves to raising stocker cattle. The growing season and feed availability in the Umpqua Valley, along with the economic realities of the times, led to this decision. The Bare family continued to prosper and operate K-Bar Ranches for the next twenty plus years, caring for the land, tending to the animals, and raising their families.
A new era for the ranch began in 2000, when the Bare family decided to sell K-Bar Ranches to the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians. The Cow Creeks rapidly grew the operation, adding properties throughout the Umpqua Valley to K-Bar Ranches management. In 2013, the ranch expanded into the Rogue Valley with the purchase of the Rogue River Ranch near Central Point, Oregon.
The Cow Creeks’ commitment to environmental stewardship, sustainability, and humane animal treatment are evident in every aspect of K-Bar Ranches operations. K-Bar Ranches partners with various groups to protect our waterways, enhance stream health, and provide habitat for wildlife. We take a balanced approach to production, ensuring the health of the environment in which we all live, work, and play; while maintaining a profitable agricultural operation. Our animals are treated with the utmost care and respect, and our employees are trained in Beef Quality Assurance, a national program that offers proper management techniques and a commitment to quality within every segment of the beef industry.
Today, K-Bar Ranches manages approximately 5500 acres, where we produce 10,000 tons of hay and raise 4000 head of cattle annually. We sell the majority of our premium hay, and utilize some of the crop to feed our cattle.
K-Bar Ranches cattle are purchased in the fall of the year, as weaned calves. When they are purchased, we vaccinate the cattle to protect them from diseases and treat them to remove parasites. After this initial processing, the calves are turned out onto our lush green pastures, where they are checked every day to ensure their health and well-being. As the seasons change, and the weather turns colder, we supply additional feed to the cattle, even though they continue to graze pasture grasses and forbs.
As spring comes upon us, the cattle at K-Bar Ranches are again vaccinated and treated to remove any parasites. During this time, the forage is growing at its most vigorous rate, and the cattle no longer need supplemental feed. In fact, the cattle refuse to eat the additional feed offered to them, instead preferring the abundant green grass and clover within easy reach as they graze the hillside pastures. The cattle thrive in this environment, gaining as much as four pounds per day through the spring into the early summer months. As the days get longer, temperatures begin to rise and the abundant rainfall western Oregon is known for begins to taper off. As this occurs, the grasses on the hills surrounding the Umpqua Valley enter their dormant season, and the cattle of K-Bar Ranches are gathered and sorted.
Most K-Bar Ranches cattle are sold at this point, but a select group is retained and fed under the watchful eyes of the crew at the Rogue Valley operation. There, K-Bar Ranches operates a modestly sized feedyard, where we grow and finish this superior set of cattle, feeding them a diet specifically designed to enhance the quality of the meat. When the cattle have attained their full genetic potential, they are harvested and processed at a local USDA inspected facility.
It is our goal to produce quality cattle in as efficient a manner as possible, always being mindful of the limited resources available to us. Our commitment to our people, to the land, and to quality, drive our decisions every day. Quality beef is our commitment to you.