Meet the Board: Sherri Brennan

“Meet the Board” is a series highlighting the people behind the California Cattle Council. Our series continues with our board member, Sherri Brennan, a rancher from Tuolumne County.

The wonderful colors of fall are all around. Brilliant hues of yellow, gold, and orange shimmer with the fading fall on the quaking Aspens, as we search for the few remaining strays reluctant to come home.  The scent of rain is in the air, and I am grateful for both the coming weather and to be in the company of my husband, Bob, our children, and grandchildren, the sixth generation to ride with this brand.  Hi, my name is Sherri Brennan, and I am proud to be a California Cattle rancher.

My home is in Tuolumne County, which among many things, boasts being the northern entrance to Yosemite National Park.  Tuolumne County is just over 1 million acres in size in the Central Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, with 882 thousand acres of public lands, or approximately 79% of the land base in the public domain.  Like much of rural California, my family is dependent on the symbiotic relationship we have with public land grazing availability and healthy private land ecosystems. 

From my seat on the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, the awareness and urgency to share accurate information regarding beef production was amplified after the 2013 Rim Fire.  The Rim Fire was devastating to the grazing community on public lands in the Tuolumne River Canyon. Equally profound was the catalyst in the awareness of the vulnerability and fragility of the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power system for the City of San Francisco, Modesto, and Turlock Irrigation Districts and the need to protect watersheds from catastrophic wildfires.  The public health and economic vitality of the entire region were put to task, many of the consequences still being mitigated today, nine years later.  Proudly grazing livestock is part of the solution, a tool in the toolkit beating back catastrophic wildfires.

With that said, the need and ability to defend and promote cattle production through research and education and present facts to local, state, and federal agencies is paramount for those who choose to carry on the ranching legacy and for those who want to start their legacy in the cattle industry.  That is the mission of the California Cattle Council!

Brennan/Orr Family Harvesting

This is the Brennan/Orr family harvesting on the family place, we think probably around Memorial Day. They had purchased the first Best tractor (now Holt) in Stanislaus County, but when World War I happened, they donated it to be melted down for the war effort and went back to the hitch. This harvester was pulled by a team of 48 mules and horses. Today the harvester is part of the exhibit in the Mickey Grove Museum. It has been my experience that many ranching families have these wonderful stories!