Grand Coulee, Washington
Since the late 1800s, Bubba Egbert’s family has been cattle ranching in Washington around the area between the town of Almira and where Grand Coulee Dam is now located.
Grand Coulee Dam was completed in 1942 on the Columbia River to produce hydroelectric power and provide a dependable source of irrigation to the area’s grasslands.
The current ranch is now located about four miles downriver of the dam. The family runs its cattle over 30,000 acres and continually works to manage the health of the grasslands.
“We want to make sure the grasslands stay healthy and provide the quality beef we want to be known for,” says Bubba.
He works with the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Resources Conservation Services to plan for and make conservation improvements to their land.
The cattle ranch is also involved with the Greater Sage-Grouse Conservation and Sagebrush Ecosystem through the Western Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies.
“When it comes to all our involvement with the agencies and individuals working for sustainability in the area, I’m probably the biggest conservationist around,” he said.
Future generations are a big focus of Bubba’s with his two young boys who are carrying on the family tradition of raising cattle. The operation currently includes Bubba’s wife, father, his brother and the two boys.
“They’re already starting their own herds with money they’ve earned and 4H money,” he said. “They’re both interested in genetics and the Beef Quality Assurance program which stresses proper management techniques and a commitment to quality.”
Bubba also coaches his kids in sports as well as high school students and his wife teaches school in town.
The Egbert Ranch works to involve young people in agriculture – having them actively participate in traditional cattle ranching activities like branding in the spring and rounding up calves in the fall.
“We always look to produce the best protein, grown safely in the most humane manner for the consumer,” he said. “When you understand where your beef comes from and how it’s produced, you find that the best you can get is right here in your local area. It’s the best in the world.”