The Land Report

AG 2019

The Magazine of the American Landowner is an essential guide for investors, landowners, and those interested in buying or selling land. The award-winning quarterly is known for its annual survey of America's largest landowners, The Land Report 100.

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pioneer, the first woman admit- ted to the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. In addition, she was also one of the few Americans to complete the rigorous course of study. She had already under- taken several projects for the family, including a swimming pool for Phoebe at her 4,000- acre Pleasanton ranch and the headquarters of the Los Angeles Examiner for Will. e two engaged in initial discussions, and Julia decided to open Job 503 — the San Simeon project. Brief lulls notwithstand- ing, this job remained open for more than three decades, the remainder of Will Hearst's life. From groundbreaking in 1920 until his death, Will main- tained complete confidence in his chief architect. Julia designed hay barns, dairies, poultry farms, dams, bridges, fish ladders, walls, airplane han- gars, employee quarters, animal pens, and, of course, the Hearst Castle. She laid out hundreds of miles of backcountry roads and took responsibility for hiring and firing construction man- agers. More than 1,000 letters and some 9,000 drawings make clear that Hearst, creative in his own right, indefatigable, and forceful, usually heeded Julia's advice. Every design decision, every improvement to exist- ing structures, sought a balance of functionality, beauty, and harmony with the land and the region's aesthetic traditions. W.R. Hearst died in 1951. Six years later, the Hearst Corpora- tion and Hearst family donated the hilltop buildings and 20 coastal acres to the State of Cali- fornia's Department of Beaches and Parks. In 1958, Hearst San "A lot of operations claim to offer grass-fed beef, but they're actually finishing their cattle on organic corn or something like that. We finish Hearst Ranch Beef exclusively on native range- land or our irrigated pastures. at's it," Steve says. In addition, Hearst Ranch Beef is completely free of anti- biotics. If an animal needs to be treated, it then gets an ear tag and is subsequently removed from the beef program. e response from Whole Foods to this approach was thoroughly positive. A contract was signed within 30 days. "e ranch is a great home court advantage, second only to the Oval Office," Steve says. Hearst Ranch provides Whole Foods approximately 1,000 head, on a seasonal basis, from Memorial Day to Labor, a span that cattlemen refer to as the summer grilling season. anks to this arrangement, Hearst Ranch is now the nation's largest single-source supplier of free-range, all-natural, grass-fed and grass-finished beef. e majority of this produc- tion can be found at Whole Foods Markets in Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and other cities in Southern Califor- nia. Closer to home, the Whole Foods Market in nearby San Luis Obispo is another venue. So are restaurants along the Central Coast, in the Bay Area, and as far afield as New York at cafe57 in the Hearst Tower. "e ranches are in better shape than they've been in for a long time due to our relation- ship with Whole Foods," Steve says emphatically. is long-term commitment to such high standards led the California Beef Cattle Improve- ment Association to name Hearst Ranch the Commercial Producer of the Year. In 1865, George Hearst bought the 50,000 acres of ranchland along San Simeon Bay that form the bedrock of Hearst Ranches. As one of the original investors in the Comstock Lode, the Missouri native no doubt considered himself to be a miner, not a rancher. e coastal prop- erty was an investment, a nest egg for his wife, Phoebe, and their young son, Willie. In his memoirs, George mentioned that he had become "somewhat interested in stock raising … but that the land is not very valuable because it is too boggy." After George's death in 1891, Will (as he was then called) poured his energies into his growing media empire. In 1903, a day shy of his 40th birthday, he married 21-year-old Millicent Willison, a former vaudeville performer. e arrival of five sons between 1904 and 1915 brought Will back home to San Simeon for he made sure that his boys knew the pleasures of camping, fishing, hiking, and riding in the same hills that he had loved as a child and as a young man. In 1919, Phoebe died of Span- ish flu. Not long afterward, Will contacted Julia Morgan about "building a little something" at San Simeon. e rest is history. A prolific architect based in San Francisco, Julia was also a TIME-TESTED SKILLS Hearst Ranch cowboys continue a legacy that dates back to the founding of the great rancho in 1865. 44 L ANDREP ORT.COM e LandReport | AGRICULTURE 20 19

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