Henry H. “Hank” Stone
Hank was born in Merced, on December 6, 1930. An only child, he grew up in the Salinas area. His father, Carol H. Stone, was the regional manager for Golden State Creamery. Upon graduation from Salinas High School, he attended Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, majoring in Animal Science. While in college, he played both baseball and basketball on freshman and JV teams, until he took the job as a student herdsman at the Sheep Unit. He was a proud member of the winning Livestock Judging Team at the Cow Palace in 1951, and also on the Dairy Judging Team in 1952. His education was interrupted by Uncle Sam in 1952, when he was drafted into the Army. As luck would have it, he wound up as a meat inspector with the U.S. Veterinary Corps, working in boning and packing plants in the San Jose area. In 1954, he married a Salinas girl, Suzanne Storm.
After his discharge from the Army he had jobs as a ranch manager in Ukiah and Fort Bragg.
In 1957 he started his own sheep operation in San Joaquin County. A combination of too many coyotes and $ .15 lambs forced him to quickly abandon this career choice, and seek out a real job.
Crocker Angelo Bank in Sacramento took a chance on an ex-sheepherder and offered Hank a position as an agricultural lending officer trainee. Despite a “C” in ag math at Cal Poly, numbers came easily and he soon found his niche as a banker. In 1967, Hank took the job as manager of the Federal Land Bank and Woodland Production Credit Association. He ran this office for seven years, developing a solid reputation, and many lifelong friends.
During his early ranching and banking years, Hank began two of his favorite pastimes; livestock judging and auctioneering. For 10 years during the 1960’s he was Superintendent of the Intercollegiate Judging Contest at the Cow Palace. He also judged sheep and cattle at many county fairs throughout Northern California, including the State Fair. He also offered his self-taught skills as a Junior Livestock Auctioneer for 40 years, selling thousands of 4-H and FFA livestock at over a dozen different auctions on Northern California.
In 1973, Hank went to work for John B. “Jack” Anderson, as the business manager for Anderson Farms, a rapidly- expanding tomato farming and trucking empire, in Davis, CA. He assisted with financing many of the diverse enterprises that comprised the company, and eventually his position resulted in multiple partnerships with Jack. Hank was directly involved in the formation of T.H. Richards Canning Co., which built a processing tomato cannery in Dixon, CA, in 1975. Currently owned by Campbell Soup Co., this cannery utilizes a unique method of re-circulating tomato rinse water on 600 acres of irrigated pasture, which is then grazed by cattle on a rotational basis. Hank was instrumental in the developing this system, which is still functioning efficiently today. In order to supply cattle for these pastures Hank and Jack formed Yolo Land & Cattle Co., which leased numerous ranches throughout California and Nevada. The partnership also acquired the property that would ultimately become the current headquarters. By the early 1980’s, Anderson Farms had become a major land holding entity in California and beyond, venturing even into Las Vegas casinos. Hank decided that agriculture was enough of a gamble for him, so he re- focused his energies back into the cattle sector, and he eventually bought out Jack’s share of Yolo Land & Cattle Co. He found himself once again as a self- employed rancher, but this time he figured he would have better luck with another species…cattle.
In 1983, Hank and his son Scott formed a separate farming and stocker cattle partnership, based in Dixon, CA. His youngest son Casey joined the operation in 1991. Hank maintained Yolo Land & Cattle Co. as a sole proprietor until 1992, when he converted the company to a three-way partnership with sons Scott and Casey. Hank’s oldest son David chose to pursue a career in the art world, instead of returning home to the family farm. He was a gifted artist, yet his heart never left the land. Prior to an untimely demise in 1989, David spent a great deal of time on the home ranch, documenting the golden beauty of the hills with his paint brush.
The late eighties and nineties brought new family members as well. Scott married Karen in 1989, and they have two sons, Austin and Carson. Casey married Angela in 1994, and they have two children, Keeley and Wilson.
Over the course of the last two decades, Hank, his sons, and their wives have developed a well-respected cattle operation. Today, the company is a diversified operation encompassing 13,000 acres of deeded and leased rangeland, row-crop, and pasture land in Solano and Yolo Counties. The cattle herd consists of over 700 Angus cows and replacement heifers. The calves are marketed through a variety of natural programs, including Panorama Grass Fed Meats, a consortium of progressive Northern California ranchers. Scott’s wife Karen is currently developing a direct marketing operation to satisfy local demand for the company’s beef. In recent years, Scott has implemented numerous conservation programs on the home ranch, working with a variety of government and quasi-government partnerships. Hank has witnessed his ranch blossom into an environmental showcase, and he relishes acting as a tour guide to the many visitors the ranch now hosts with its complementary agri-tourism enterprise. In 2005, the bulk of the home ranch was placed under permanent conservation easement, held by the California Rangeland Trust. Hank is particularly proud of the fact that this ranch will be preserved for future generations. Most recently, Yolo Land & Cattle Co. became the national winner for the Environmental Stewardship Award Program, which is sponsored by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, NRCS, and Dow Agrosciences, after having been nominated by CCA and the California Rangeland Trust.
With the full-time involvement of his two sons in the operation, Hank was able to relinquish most of the day-to-day management decisions, although he continues to act as the herd geneticist. His concepts about genetic selection were honed with his extensive involvement in the California Beef Cattle Improvement Association. Hank served on the CBCIA Board in the 1990’s, as President for three years, and continues to serve in the capacity of President Emeritus. He was instrumental in the formation of the “Your Beef’s at Stake Program” (1998-2000) which allowed producers to get a hands-on feel for how their cattle perform in the feedlot by exposing them to the meat cutting room for carcass evaluation. He also helped develop the successful CBCIA annual bus tour, “Your Future’s at Stake”, which allows producers from California the opportunity to tour progressive ranches around the state. Amongst his fellow board members, Hank is referred to as the “God father of CBCIA”.
You would think that at age 77, Hank would be starting to slow down, but just the opposite has happened. When he completed his term as President of CBCIA, Hank decided to join the ranks of his fellow seed stock producers on the board. When the opportunity arose to lease the historic T.S. Glide Ranch west of Davis, Hank decided that it would make the perfect headquarters for his own Angus seed-stock operation. Today, he produces most of the bulls for the family’s commercial operation. For several years, he has sent bulls to the Cal Poly Bull Test Sale, and last year he received the Outstanding Consignor Award. His participation in this sale has rekindled his relationship with his alma mater, and now he serves on the Cal Poly Animal Science Advisory Committee. Hank continues to be a strong supporter of youth programs, actively promoting collegiate livestock organizations, 4-H and FFA programs.
Industry Affiliations and Community Service
- Western Fairs Association Accredited Livestock judge
- Cow Palace Livestock Judging Contest Superintendent
- California Agricultural Leadership Program Graduate, Class I
- Woodland Rotary Club-Past Member
- Woodland Chamber of Commerce-Past Director
- Production Credit Association- Past Director
- Woodland Memorial Hospital Foundation-Past Director
- Yolo County Agricultural District Association, 40th District (Fair Board)-Past Director
- Yolo County Cattlemen’s and Woolgrower’s Association-Past President, Director
- Yolo County Farm Bureau-Member
- Yolo County Resource Conservation District-Past Director
- Woodland High School FFA Advisory Committee-Past President
- California FFA Foundation-Past Director
- Auctioneer, Various county fairs, and California State Fair-40 years
- California Cattlemen’s Association-Past Director, served on numerous committees
- California Beef Cattle Improvement Association, Past President, Director, President Emeritus
- Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, Animal Science Advisory Committee
- U.C. Davis Animal Science Development Board
- California Woolgrowers Association-Past Director
- American Angus Association
- California Angus Association
- American Quarter Horse Association
- Yolo County Agri-businessman of the Year-Woodland Chamber of Commerce-1982
- Woodland FFA Chapter Farmer Award
- Commercial Producer of the year-CBCIA-1994
- Rominger/ Thompson Award-Yolo Land Trust-2004
- Visions in Leadership Award [Received with son Scott(Class XXVIII Graduate)]- California Ag Leadership Program-2006
- Horizon Award-CBCIA- 2006
- Producer of the Year-Western Ranchers Beef Cooperative-2006
- 2007 Oustanding Consignor-Cal poly Bull Sale
- 2007 National winner-Environmental Stewardship Award Program-NCBA