About Us

Alturas Ranches is beautifully nestled amidst the Warner Range in Northern California, surrounded by preserved wildlife habitat. Here at Alturas Ranches, we have the best crews producing the finest products. We grow Alfalfa and sell the highest quality hay around.

You can find our Operations and Sales Manager, Leslie, in the office five days a week, meeting new customers, getting our products out the door, and overseeing operations with incredible precision. During the growing and harvesting seasons, you will find Mike, our Harvest Supervisor, canvasing all 31,000 acres of ground and orchestrating the activity of our equipment and operators. During wild rice harvest, you will find Danny manning the monstrous harvester and filling trucks with product to send to our milling partners. The rest of the year, you will find him running the mill, producing alfalfa pellets for all of your livestock and equine needs. Mary is our farming supervisor, making sure ground is prepared and crops are planted exactly at the right times. The title of Farm Manager belongs to Jay Younger, our agricultural architect. While directing water, soil and workers, Jay anticipates and executes our seasonal design to maximize quality and productivity. Hunter, our resident numbers, systems, and relationships man, is found pouring over financials and finding new avenues of efficiency and growth. 

It is not unusual to see cows milling about after harvest time. Our ranch partners utilize newly available grazing ground to let cattle sustainably feast on grasses and rice hulls. At any time you may find our Cowboys, Zach,  Jess, and Obdulio, on horseback or foot, riding or walking through the herds. 

We primarily grow Alfalfa, Wild Rice and Wheat. Alfalfa Hay, Native Meadow Hay, and Pellets are available for purchase on-site or for delivery at the Alturas Ranches office and by phone. Stop by and introduce yourself! We would love to see what we can do for you.

 

Our Story

The year was 1951 and Barry Swenson was 12 years old. It was his first hunting trip with his Grandfather and Barry fell in love with Modoc County. Right then and there, Barry made up his mind to someday own 26 acres of his own land, just like what he had grown up on.  

Barry's Grandfather, Carl N. Swenson discovered Modoc County following the Depression era, when there existed a vibrant logging industry in the region. Towns were growing, people were re-building their lives and Carl N. Swenson began to source lumber from Modoc County for the Bay Area construction boom... and utilized the opportunity for frequent hunting trips. 

Fast forward to 1996 when Barry received the lead of a lifetime on what was then Lyneta Farms, and now Alturas Ranches. A friend had just turned down the opportunity to buy the ranch from insurance conglomerate John Hancock and mentioned the property to Barry. The insurance firm had poured millions into infrastructure before realizing that the holding was far too disconnected from the rest of their concentrated portfolio. 

After already having acquired his 26 acres, the nostalgic memories of time with his Grandfather brought Barry back to Modoc County. After seeing the solid team in place and opportunity for growth and expansion, Barry quickly formed a partnership to be able to purchase this beautiful piece of ground.

The ranch is now solely owned by the Swenson Family. Since the original purchase, we've acquired an additional 20,000 acres which has allowed us to expand our scale and diversity in both crops and cattle.

Barry Swenson is a renowned innovator in the fields of construction, development, farming, and ranching. His knack for innovation and investment strategy has carried this ground into the longest period of stable ownership since cultivation. 

Today we farm and ranch on 55,000 acres of ground, are growing into new markets, and are proud to have a team that is equally committed to the care and stewardship of this land.