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California Pacific Society for Range Management



2020 Range Manager of the Year Chuck Pritchard


Chuck Pritchard

Chuck Pritchard


Charles “Chuck” Pritchard of San Luis Obispo County was awarded the 2020 California- Pacific Section Range Manager of the Year at the 16th annual California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Summit virtual meeting held in January. Professor Marc Horney of Cal Poly and Royce Larsen of UC Cooperative Extension Natural Resource/Watershed Advisor San Luis Obispo County both praised Chuck for his significant contributions to rangeland conservation over his long personal and professional career.


These included memberships or leadership on the state Range Management Advisory Committee, Grazing Lands Conservation Initiative, CA Assoc of Resource Conservation Districts (RCD), CA Biodiversity Council, Upper Salinas/Las Tablas RCD, and the Public Lands Committee for the San Luis Obispo County Cattleman’s Association to name a few.


Chuck is a Cal Poly graduate (BS, Animal Science and Farm Management, 1962) who has maintained his connections with the university over the years including organizing many ranch tours for Cal Poly students and others over the last decade. His tours and tales are considered a full education in themselves.


Chuck has been, and remains, a good partner and ally in promoting rangeland conservation practice, and he has left an indelible and positive imprint on the many agencies, organizations, and individual people that he has contributed to in his productive life.




2020 Excellence in Range Management Award for Schmidt Family Ranch and Peterson Land and Cattle Company (PLLC) of San Benito County


Ned Wood

Schmidt Family gathering


The family was recognized for outstanding ranch management and land stewardship practices across distances and generations. The award was co-presented by Devii Rao, UC Cooperative Extension and Karminder Brown, San Benito Working Landscapes Group during the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition 2021 Summit.


The Schmidt cousins own three ranches in south San Benito county, covering 6,800 acres. Two of the ranches are adjacent to Pinnacles National Park. The family has been in business since the late 1880’s.


The Schmidt Family Ranch and PLLC represent a complex family arrangement with all three ranches owned by six cousins and their families even though most live in nearby counties. The Schmidt cousins have worked tirelessly to keep their land intact, through estate planning and ongoing family communication that includes a weekly newsletter. Their long-term goal is to maintain the ranch as a whole, so future generations can continue the lifestyle, traditions, and land stewardship they all love.


They were also recognized for their commitment to wildlife habitat enhancement and a special passion for oak restoration. For many years they have partnered with various agencies and organizations to restore oak trees and other native plants for habitat improvement and increased shade for the cattle.

Ned Wood

            Kathy Spencer speaking at a workshop on the ranch

























See Past Winners



Excellence in Range Management Award nomination form
Range Manager of the Year Award nomination form




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