At Five Dot Ranch, cattle are raised on pasture and finished on a mix of locally grown, non-GMO grains like barley and rice bran for malty sweetness. The Swickard family, who’ve been ranching in California for eight generations, have a GAP-2 certification and use rotational grazing to keep their pastures healthy and full of diverse grasses. Rich in flavor and sustainably raised, this pastured-grain beef also makes regular appearances on the menu at James Beard-nominated Liholiho Yacht Club in San Francisco.
Five Dot steaks are California through and through: From the native grasses the cattle graze, to the locally grown, non-GMO barley and rice bran, to the herd themselves — that are born and raised entirely on the Susanville ranch. All this is important to the Swickard family, because they want to be able to control the whole process of producing delicious, richly flavored steak from end to end, and be part of a truly local food economy in California.
The Swickards have been ranching in California since 1852, when Andrew Swickard and his family stepped off the ship that brought them all the way around Cape Horn from New Orleans. He, his wife Susannah, and their two kids settled in the Santa Clara Valley, raising cattle. But as San Francisco urbanized more heavily, they decided to move north where there’d be more space, and they settled at Five Dot Ranch in Susanville. Today, the seventh and eighth generations of the Swickards grow up on the very same ranch, raising delicious, pastured grain beef like their family has for over a century.