Dot keeps it in the family
Kirby and Kaitlin
Swickard of Five Dot Ranch don’t mind if you call them cowboys, even though
they are cowgirls.
The two young women
have joined the Five Dot Ranch family business, and represent the latest
generation of the Swickard family that has produced
grain and livestock in California since the 1850s.
and Loretta Swickard, Kirby and Kaitlin’s parents, took over the Five Dot Land
and Cattle Company in Susanville from Todd's parents in 1994, and launched a natural beef business
in 2006. Kirby says she and her three siblings spent their childhood “on the
rangeland, gathering cattle, and cowboying.”
Today, Kirby, the
eldest at 27, does outreach, catering, and human resources for the family
business. Kaitlin does marketing and sales. Both earned degrees in agricultural
business, Kirby at Chico State, and Kaitlin at Cal Poly. Another daughter,
Lindsey, 25, teaches FFA at Elsie High School in Santa Rosa, and the youngest,
Logan, 20, is a student at Butte Community College.
Dot Ranch runs cattle at the King-Swett Ranches, and has done so since the early 1980s
when the property was still owned by PG&E. They have been part of the Solano
Land Trust family for years, and at a recent Solano Land Trust business
breakfast, Kirby and Kaitlin gave a short PowerPoint presentation about the
business while Todd watched proudly from the audience. Five Dot donated all the
beef served at our recent Sunday Supper at Joyful Ranch, and Todd was a spotter
during the live auction.
addition to the cattle operation that produces beef that is 100 percent hormone
and antibiotic free, the family runs the Five Dot Ranch butcher shop and Five
Dot Ranch Cookhouse in Napa. Theirs was one of the original businesses in Oxbow
10 years, we went from full-time ranchers to full-time ranchers and restaurant
owners. It’s been a steep learning curve,” Kirby told the audience at Rush
are proud to play a role in this family business, and happy to share their
inspiring story with you.
courtesy of Five Dot Ranch