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Harold Foster is (Siskiyou) Cattleman of the Year
Pioneer Press September 2, 2009
SISKIYOU COUNTY - Harold Foster received the honored title of "Siskiyou Cattleman of the Year" for 2009 during ceremonies at the 60th Annual Cattle Tour held Thursday, August 27, at his ranch north of Montague, CA. The announcement climaxed a daylong event sponsored by Cooperative Extension in cooperation with the Siskiyou County Cattlemen's Association and Cattlewomen.
Joe Sammis, of Dorris, incoming President of the Siskiyou County Cattlemen's Association, presented Foster with a stockman's hat on behalf of his fellow cattlemen. Selection for this tribute is based upon cattle improvement, feed development, and participation in civic activities.
Harold Ellis Foster is a member of the fifth generation to live and work on Bogus Creek Ranch, which traces it's roots back to 1871. He, oldest of four children, joins his father John Foster also a Cattleman of the Year. Harold is a local person, born to John and Edith Foster in Yreka in 1934 and educated at the Bogus Elementary school, Cottonwood Elementary (7th and 8th grade) and Yreka High School class of 1952. He completed one year of study at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Harold married his high school sweetheart Marianna Brown on September 11th 1954. For the first four years of their marriage Harold was in the U.S. Navy, serving most of his time on the USS Piedmont before joining the Navy.
Harold returned to the ranch in 1959, and after some negotiations Harold and his father formed a partnership in the cattle; "John N. Foster and Son". The ranch was operated as a partnership until 1974 when it was incorporated and the name changed to "Bogus Creek Ranch, Inc. as it remains today.
The commercial cow calf cattle herd is predominately Hereford based. The ranch raises enough hay from the irrigated meadows to feed the cattle through the winter. The cattle spend their winters in the meadows and low foothills. The cattle progress up Bogus Mountain in three steps as the weather warms. The ranch is fortunate that the lands are all interconnected; the cattle do not have to be hauled to get to their summer range. The high mountain property is managed as grazing timber lands. The ranch leases additional summer grazing land from Timber Products and the Forest Service. In the early fall when the deer hunters start to camp at the water holes the cattle return to the upper meadows.
A major project for Harold consuming six years was negotiating with the Forest Service to trade sections on Bogus Mountain to have the sections adjoining instead of the previous checker board. The sections traded had to be of similar value. Several hundred acres had to be cleared and trees planted. The land trade created a new understanding in forest land management. The trade was finalized in 1999. The ranch expanded in 2007 when Harold purchased 520 acres of the old Bill Saveny place.
Another project was rebuilding an old pelton wheel power plant after a lighning strike in 1983. Two hydro electric power generators were installed on the ranch in a partnership agreement with neighboring rancher Bob Walker, JJJ Ranch. The power is sold directly to PP&L.
Harold has served on the Siskiyou County Cattlemen's Association Board of Directors and as Siskiyou County's representative on the state lands committee for many years. He and family members have been certified through the CCA Quality Assurance since its inception.
Support for local schools is a high priority for Harold. When the state condemned the old school house at the confluence of Bogus Creek and Cold Creek, Harold donated land for the new school to be built. This allowed the old school house to remain standing and today it is used as Copco Chapel. Harold has served on the Bogus School board and been a 4H leader.
Harold is truly happiest when he is sitting on top of his excavator. He's always thinking of ways to improve the cattle herd, irrigation, cattle trails and watering spots. Just completing his list of ranch and range land improvements will keep the family busy for decades.
Harold Foster is the fifty-fifth stockman to receive the title of Siskiyou County Cattleman of the Year since its inception in 1955. Harold Foster joins those previously receiving the title Cattleman of the Year: Nerva M. Hayden; A.B. Hoy; James B. Rohrer; Clarence Dudley; Jess C. Martin; Brice M. Long; Earl B. Fiock; Charles F. Hammond; Leonard F. Shelly; Albert Beck; Fred C. Burton; Morris L. Prather; Edson L. Foulke; Stuart Hammond; Louis Hessig; F.N. Giger; Orlo Davis; Ray Laird; Jess Sylva; Leland H. Young; James J. Davidson; Blair Smith; Clint Jackson; Harold Porterfield; Delmar Criss; Glenn Barnes; John Foster; Eldon Hoy; D.J. Kuck; Arnold Criss; Ed Hart; Norman Fiock; Malcolm Hayden; Brice P. Martin; Bob Axton; Royal Taylor; Ellis Louie; Carl Hammond; the Sylva Brothers; Everette Fiock; Sam B. Jackson; Tony Hanna; Roger Zwanziger; John T. (Jack) Jenner, Jr.; Brice C. Martin; Ben Brazie; Vernon Smith; Roger Porterfield; Stan Sears; Ben Tozier; John Spencer; Bill Peters; Jack Cowley and Melvin McKay.
Page Updated: Thursday September 03, 2009 02:27 AM Pacific
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