Company History

James Poett founded Rancho San Julian Cattle Company in 1980. In the spring of 1987, he launched Rancho San Julian Beef Company with the idea of producing high quality beef from cattle that are raised humanly and on an agriculturally sustainable ranch.

As one of the first organic beef producer in California, Jim sold his products throughout Santa Barbara County. In 1990, he was the president of the South Coast Chapter of the CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) where he helped write the California Organic Food Act 1990. Ever since then, he has continued to support an array of environment programs.

However by 1997, as the organic industry developed and its scope began to focus more on allowable inputs and less on environmental sense, Jim worked to improve the quality of his herd and the environmental integrity of the ranch. He began a series of infrastructure projects that allowed Rancho San Julian to better preserve its grazing, watering and natural resources.

In 1999, Rancho San Julian entered a partnership with the National Resource Conservation Service to create an environmentally sound balance between nature and agriculture. The ranch reworked fences and water sources, which provided the best grazing program for the cattle, while maintaining a sound ecological environment. Jim Poett has partnered with Summitcrest Angus in Ohio and the TC Ranch in Nebraska to take advantage of two of the most progressive Angus genetics programs at the forefront of carcass and ultrasound testing in the country, with his eye toward sound genetics for premium beef.

In 2006, Jim’s daughter, Elizabeth Poett joined the cattle team full time and began to bring the next generation’s perspective on the beef company. In the summer of 2007, at the Santa Barbara County Fair, Rancho San Julian Beef was awarded the Champion Breeder for the Market Beef Carcass class. After 30 years of hard work the Poett family can now say that Rancho San Julian provides the best beef in Santa Barbara County.

Rancho San Julian Beef now offers 100% Grass- Fed Beef, as well as Farm Finished Beef, where the animals are finished on a completely vegetarian diet or regionally grown hay and grains. We also grow as much hay and grains on the ranch as possible. All Rancho San Julian Beef is born, grown and grazed on site and we absolutely never use any hormones or no antibiotics. All Rancho San Julian Cattle are raised humanely and graze on a rotational system and are all traceable. Each cow and calf is given an ear tag so we can know the history of each animal.

At its heart, Rancho San Julian Beef embodies integrated agriculture, the root of all organic, sustainable and humane systems. Humans, animals, crops, and the environment are melded into a functional whole. The cattle component of this system is to produce, through the best genetics available, the highest quality beef using the fewest natural resources.

Learn more about our standards, visit us at a Farmers Market, or Buy Beef Online for home delivery or market pickup!