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Home: Friends of the Family Farm: Spotlight: Schultz Ranch, Inc.

Schultz Ranch, Inc.: Cultivating the legacy of seven generations

AMC

Schultz Ranch, Inc. (Schultz Ranch) is a sixth-generation ranching and farming operation based in Burrel, an unincorporated community in southern Fresno County. From its humble roots, Schultz Ranch has blossomed into a diverse family farm that keeps the past legacy alive while planting for future generations.

The family story begins in Saxony, Germany, when, in 1847, nine-year-old William Henry Schultz made his first of three trips to America as a “cabin boy.” It was on his third trip, in 1864, that he made his way to San Francisco. Once there, William Henry opened a restaurant with a partner. It was here that he had heard about the farmland being sold near Fresno.

Eventually, he made his way down to the Fresno-area, where he purchased Sections 25 and 27 from the Southern Pacific Railway Company and Section 24 from a private party. His livestock operation began with 3,000 sheep. In 1882, Schultz married fellow German, Mary Langfinger. Together, they had two sons, William Henry, Jr. and Armand William. William, Sr. ended up passing away while the boys were still young, but Mary fought to keep the farm going. Through many ups-and-downs, including the untimely death of William Jr. and the Great Depression, the family pressed on to where they are today.

The diversified operation is made up of the next generations, consisting of President Dick Schultz (fourth generation); his wife, Controller Bonnie Schultz; their sons, Vice Presidents Ric Schultz (fifth generation), who oversees the wine grapes and Steve Schultz, who oversees the almonds; and their daughter, Secretary/Treasurer Lorna Schultz Roush, who oversees the office administration. Lorna’s son, Keith (sixth generation), oversees the shop and maintenance of the equipment. In recent years, the seventh generation has been added with Brycen, Mackcen and Huxcen, the sons of Keith and his wife, Kaylee.

Over the generations, the Schultz’s have had a dairy, raised beef cattle and sheep, and farmed row crops, including cotton and alfalfa. In recent years, the operation has transitioned to permanent crops, including almonds, pistachios and wine grapes. The hope is that the family can continue to expand their operation so that future generations have the option to come back to the farm.

“It’s very important to our family to keep the farm progressing forward,” Roush said. “Allowing future generations the opportunity to be a part of this farm means a lot to us.”

On top of the day-to-day operations, Roush is very active in community organizations including My Job Depends on Ag, California Women for Agriculture, the Ag One Foundation at Fresno State and Riverdale Community Foundation. Additionally, Schultz Ranch is a proud FCFB Friends of the Family Farm premium member.

“We support Farm Bureau because FCFB supports us. We appreciate that we can reach out to the organization at any time and know what is going on locally, statewide or federally,” Roush explained.

Preserving the family farm is crucial for the success of the agriculture industry. “There is nothing more important than protecting the individual legacy and integrity of the family farm,” Roush concluded.