Our family and cattle operation is based at our home ranch in Jamestown. with various land leases for pasture in and around town. However, living on a ranch in Jamestown raising cattle did not come naturally to either of us.
Our journey started in the Santa Cruz area, where we were both raised. We had a long courting period that started in the 11th grade but our first date wasn’t until we were both 23-years-old.Manuel is always willing to tell the story when asked. It does get bigger and better with every telling.
Fast forward two years later – we found the town of Twain Harte in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California. We bought a house and moved there with no jobs – just dreams of a better life.
It wasn’t long before Manuel called Ocean’s dad to ask for her hand in marriage. Bill said “Yes,” and down to the jewelry store Manuel went. He received a lesson in the 4 C’s of a proper diamond and it was then that he picked out a real beauty of a ring. On Christmas Eve 2003, that Ocean said “Yes,” and they were married October 16, 2004. We started a family on July 9, 2006 when our first daughter Liliana was born. What a wonderful time that was.
When Liliana was 6-months-old, Manuel got a phone call from Ocean’s coworkers grandfather wanting to sell him a horse. One condition was that the man wanted to teach Manuel about horses so that he could get off to a good start. He bought a Grulla gelding horse and with some lessons – away we went. We were in the horse business! Ocean and I were both riding and doing whatever was told for us to do for the instruction.
That wonderful man who got us started right was Mr. Noble Stansbury, of Oakdale. We love that man for the time he gave us and the knowledge he shared with us. Noble and his son, Skip taught Manuel how to team rope. Manuel won the first team roping event he entered and the rest is history – it became a passion and new path for our family.
That first summer roping – driving around and hanging out with my wife and child and roping all the time was probably one of the best summers we ever had! At the time, Ocean was still riding some but she was pretty busy with her work as a dental hygienist and our first child. However, team roping didn’t last long as the economy took a dive in 2008-09. With funds tight, team roping went to the wayside.
In 2008, we had another baby girl, Lainey and wow, we were on fire! Not long after, in 2010 we had a little boy Lincoln and we were complete with enough kids. During this time, we were still trail riding and learning the way of the horse but soon Manuel was growing tired of trail riding. That was the start of Manuel’s Catalonian dreams while helping his good buddy Randy Williams with his cattle.
Manuel found a little land to lease and went out and bought four pairs (mother cows and calves) from Mr. Don Rumsey. Ocean had always enjoyed the idea of raising cattle but was leery of the amount of time and the money required for something we know little to nothing about.
Fast forward eight years and here we are with a ranch in Jamestown. Raising cattle has been the pleasure of our lives. We feel at home – like we were always meant to be here.
Without the love and support of Ocean (who spent many days and nights by herself with the kids) Manuel wouldn’t get the chance to be offering up pastured grass-fed beef for you folks out there to enjoy. We thank you for checking this out. We sure do hope to hear from you!