Sacramento, CA,
16:20 PM

California Ranching Family Links 19th Century Roots with 21st Century Technology

When Kevin Kester wants to know what’s going on at his Parkfield, California ranch, he takes to the air.

As a fifth-generation cattle rancher, Kester’s ranching roots reach back to 1867. The family’s cow-calf ranch in Monterey County was recently featured in a video produced by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the beef checkoff, as part of the reintroduction of their iconic Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner brand. NCBA’s Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner team traveled coast to coast to chronicle the stories about real people who raise beef, and who share a deep-seated commitment to care for their animals and the land. One of the things the team found was the application of new technology to improve traditional cattle handling.

And that brings us back to Kester. While horses, dogs and ATVs are still key elements of successful ranching, a new tool has been added to the kit: the commercial drone.

For Kevin and June Kester, taking advantage of new technology just makes sense, both on the business side and on the environmental and conservation side as well. As Kevin puts it, things can be done differently now than 20 years ago. Today, he can use the drone to gather cattle as well as do things like check the water troughs and the water system to make sure everything is functioning correctly.

Watch the video to see more of the Kester family story.


While technology plays an important part, some things don’t change, even after five generations. As June Kester said, “You work hard and you put it all right back into the land.”

Photos and video courtesy of

About the California Beef Council

The California Beef Council (CBC) was established in 1954 to serve as the promotion, research, and education arm of the California beef industry, and is mandated by the California Food and Agricultural Code. The council is comprised of 42 members who are appointed by the California Secretary of Agriculture. The council members set priorities for CBC and represent all segments of beef production within California including range cattle, dairy cattle, feedlots, packers/processors and the general public. For more information, visit