Sweet Ranches

A 7-Generation Family Heritage and Commitment to
Rangeland Conservation and Healthy Food Production

Darrel & Karen Sweet

Ranching, Conservation & Leadership

Karen and Darrel provide ecosystem services and raise beef cattle in addition to providing industry leadership and expertise. Together, they have dedicated their lives to agriculture and preserving rangeland and wildlife habitats for future generations of California. Married in Livermore in 1967, they attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. They have two children. Eric and  his wife, Michelle and Melani and her husband, Brian.  They are the proud grandparents of three - Blake, Audrey and Riley. 


Darrel completed his appointment to the Cattlemen's Beef Board in 2015. He was appointed by United Stated Department of Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack.  The Cattlemen's Beef Board sponsors the Beef Check Off Program and is funded by cattle producers.

For many years Darrel has been appointed by the Secretary of California Food and Agriculture to serve on the California Beef Council, also funded by cattle producers to provide beef promotion activities to California consumers, retailers and the restaurant trade.  

Darrel was a founding member of the California Rangeland Trust Board of Directors, and served as Chairman.  Also noteworthy of his state and local commitment, Darrel is past President of California Cattlemen's Association, Director of the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, and member of the Contra Costa-Alameda County Cattlemen's Association. 


In 2013, Darrel was honored as Livestock Man of the Year at the Grand National Livestock Show at the Cow Palace. Such an honor, given by the California Chamber of Commerce!  

Karen is an advocate and subject matter expert in private land conservation and is a past President of California CattleWomen, Inc. In addition to working with Darrel on the ranch, she provides executive-style leadership and support to the cattle industry and other agricultural and conservation organizations. 

Experienced in various public and private sector environments, she provides administrative services to the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition.  She also provides support service to the California and Utah Leopold Conservation Award Program(R) for the Sand County Foundation.  In these roles she connects with the public to applaud individual and collaborative conservation and agricultural excellence on the farm and ranch.  


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