Western Grassfed Beef Rancher Profile: Schlosser & Son

ground beef rancher lifestyle recipe

Don’t let the name fool you, the pants at this ranch are worn by women…with a little help from two very brave men. When Ernie Schlosser’s great grandfather settled in Zamora, CA in the early 1860’s and gave the ranch the name Schlosser & Son, he clearly did not foresee the incredible women that would be helping their father and husband run the ranch 150 years later.


The Beginnings

The Schlosser & Son ranch has an impressive history in the small town of Zamora, CA. If you’re wondering where Zamora is, rest assured you’re not alone. If you have traveled Interstate 5 or 505 in northern California you’ve traveled right through it and if you blinked you missed it. This quaint town has been home to the Schlosser family since Andrew Johnson’s presidency. With one of the original deeds for the ranch signed  by the President himself in 1868.

Passed down to him by his father, Ernie Schlosser is the 5th generation of his family to make a living off the land, with a little help from his wife of 37 years, Kitty. Ernie and Kitty met at a local dance in Woodland and his good rhythm and country charm swept her right off her feet. The two were married in 1979 and had 3 beautiful daughters a few years later, Jacqueline (33), Janet (32), and Robin (29).


The Ranch Today

Today the Schlosser & Son ranch is being run by the 5th, 6th and 7th generations of the Schlosser family.  The 6th generation daughters, Robin and Janet, both decided to join the family business after graduating from college. Jackie took a slightly different, but none the less impressive path and has spent the last 8 years teaching school abroad in Honduras and Kuwait, 6 of which have been with her husband, Brian.

Janet and her husband of 4 years, Jeff, manage the records and certification for the ranch as well as managing part of the herd on the irrigated pasture of their home in Vina, CA. Of course, Janet and Jeff couldn’t do this without the help of the 7th generation of Schlosser ranchers, their daughters Maggie, who was born in October of 2014, and Charlotte who was born in July of this year.

Cowgirl Maggie

Ernie enjoys the help of his daughter, Robin,  with day to day operations on the home ranch in Zamora, CA where the cows spend their winter. She also travels with him to Susanville, CA to check the cows during the summer while they are enjoying the cooler temperatures and green grass of the high desert.


Ranching is a Family Affair


The family’s love for their lifestyle and having the opportunity to work together on a daily basis is clear. Asking the 5 of them what they loved about the ranching lifestyle produced one common response: Family. The opportunity to work with their family, see their hard work pay off in the happy healthy animals they raise and then pass that tradition on to the next generation is invaluable. According to Ernie, you can’t beat the tradition, outdoor lifestyle, the use of horses, and ranching the way it has been done in the U.S. for hundreds of years.

When the family was asked why they chose to raise cattle and why both Janet and Robin decided to return to the ranch after graduation the answer was simple and unanimous. They were born into it and they enjoy it.

“Jeff and I ranch because we enjoy it! We both work other full-time jobs, but ranching is rewarding work and offers a lifestyle we’d like to pass onto our children” – Janet.

Opportunity to Raise Grass Fed Cattle

The Schlosser’s love the tradition of raising cattle so much they made the switch back to the oldest cattle ranching tradition, raising their cattle entirely on grass. Raising grass fed and grass-finished beef is no easy task as it requires finding green pastures and feed to keep your cattle on year-around. It’s even harder when you’ve been faced with the drought California has seen the past 5 years but to the Schlossers the difficulty is worth overcoming. For a smaller cattle operation like Schlosser & Son grass fed beef provides them with a niche market with opportunity. Opportunity to raise cattle of quality rather than cattle of quantity. Opportunity to live a lifestyle they love while raising animals in a way that they feel is ethically and environmentally responsible.


Part of the Western Grassfed Beef Family

The Schlosser family is everything we love about our Western Grassfed Beef ranchers. They know the value in tradition, the “good tired” that you get from hard work, and the value of raising a sustainable beef product that has a positive impact on its environment and its consumers. Most of all, they know the value of family. You’ll never find the Schlosser Family traveling to a branding alone, missing out on the opportunity to beat each other at a game of cards, or get a little roping competition going. One thing we can say for sure is that the incredible ranching legacy this family has been building for 7 generations isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Favorite Recipe from the Ranch

Our Western Grassfed Beef ranchers seem to be a big fan of the Pioneer Woman! Here is one Janet’s favorite recipes with a grass fed twist:

Grass Fed Beef Spicy Whiskey BBQ Sliders


Submitted by Janet, Rancher for Western Grassfed Beef   (Recipe and Photo credit to The Pioneer Woman)

 Prep Time: 15 minutes             Cook Time: 15 minutes             Serves: 6


2 lbs          100% Western Grassfed Ground Beef
                    Salt and Black pepper, 
4 Tbsp     Butter
1                 Onion, diced
1/2 cup   Whiskey
1 cup        BBQ Sauce 
1/4 cup   Jarred Jalapeno slices (more to taste)
12              Slider buns or Dinner rolls, split

1. Form the meat into 12 (or so) miniature patties and salt and pepper them on both sides.
2. Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat and cook the patties until just about done in the middle, approximately 3-4 minutes per side.
3. Remove the patties from the skillet and set aside. Drain off all but    2 tablespoons of grease, then return the skillet to the stove.
4. Throw the diced onions in the skillet and stir to cook, about 3 minutes.
5. Pour in whiskey (be careful if you're cooking over an open flame; turn it off momentarily to be extra careful) and stir. Allow the whiskey to reduce by half, about 2 to 3 minutes, then stir in jalapenos and the barbecue sauce.
6.Reduce the heat to low and place the patties in the barbecue sauce, turning to coat. Allow the patties to simmer in the sauce until everything's hot and bubbly.
7.Place the patties on individual buns and be sure to spoon extra sauce (with the jalapenos!) over the top of each one before topping with the other half of the bun.

Serve and enjoy!

Thank you Schlosser Family for continuing your family traditions and for doing it the Western Grassfed Beef way!

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