Our story effectively begins in 1991. The patriarch of the family (Dad) retired a bit early from the proverbial rat race and returned to his Oklahoma roots… the land. Our parents found a beautiful, peaceful acreage in northeastern Oklahoma and went all in. It is debatable if Mom was entirely on board initially, but she would never divulge and these family secrets are sometimes never solved. Hence Rucker Ranch began.
To be fair, this was not a storybook enterprise at the start. It’s quite a laborious endeavor to fire up a ranch and oftentimes, we were in the red. Dad dabbled in a few different bovine breeds over the years, flirting with Hereford, Limousine and Angus to name a few. I moved back into the area after college and I was lucky enough to start helping on the nights and weekends. We started building a small herd, harvesting the occasional steer for our own freezers. Over time, we shared more and more often with friends and extended family on the side. As the requests became more frequent, we eventually found ourselves in the retail beef business by accident. As we slowly investigated the business side of things, we simultaneously educated ourselves on every detail about cattle and cattle-raising (breeds, genetics, best practices, organic products, grasses, field rotations, health, you name it). Dad always was a stickler for education.
We initially focused on the Angus breed for almost two decades, making a few mistakes here and there, experimenting on this and that. We got to be pretty good cattle ranchers with our little beef business… or so we thought. Enter Wagyu beef. One average day, my fairly worldly brother brought home a few Wagyu steaks on a whim. We fired them up (in a friendly brother vs brother cook-off to show our manly prowess on the grill, of course). And WOW. For those of you who remember their first taste of a Wagyu steak, you know exactly what I mean. In that instant, we were speechless. And almost immediately, our focus changed and our mission was clear. THIS was the breed we wanted to raise, and raise it in the Rucker Ranch way.
After a lot more education, mounds of research and few years of planning, we officially launched Oklahoma Wagyu in 2018. We rebuilt our entire herd into high-quality Angus cows and found our registered, full-blooded Japanese Wagyu bulls. We transformed our husbandry, fencing, grass management, soil and nutrition (almost everything) to perfectly suit the healthiest Wagyu product. As the first generation was harvested, we tweaked our practices again… and then again. We figured it out. And we humbly state that we think we now have some of the finest F1 American Wagyu beef you can find.