This summer, we've had the good fortune of running sheep on the Elster Ranch between Auburn and Grass Valley. This ranch has been well-managed with cattle by Bill Boundy for many years. George Nolte, who purchased the ranch several years ago, has been working to improve the ranch's productivity even further. With Bill's help, George has installed a new K-Line irrigation system (go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5I1pQDYYqoQ for a video) and has planted a number of new irrigated pastures. Our grass-fed lambs have been the beneficiaries of these improvements.
Elster Ranch is my first experience with a landlord who is committed to making his or her property more productive. Many people who purchase large properties see them as real estate (to be developed) or toys (to be played with). George and Bill are vastly different - they care for the land and want to improve its agricultural and ecological productivity. What a refreshing change!