The Koopmann Family originally emigrated from Germany in 1867, landing in the Half Moon Bay area (Northern California coast) in what is now the San Francisco Bay Area. The Koopmann Family purchased property and homesteaded in the hills west of Dublin, California in 1889. In 1918, the family sold the property in Dublin and purchased approximately 900 acres in the hills between Pleasanton and Sunol for the steep price of $35 per acre. The Koopmann Family ran beef cattle, milked Holstein cows, dryland farmed hay, and farmed walnuts. In 1963 the State of California acquired a portion of the Koopmann Ranch to construct Highway-680. Development of the highway unfortunately displaced the original family homestead, barns, and corrals as well as the majority of the farm ground. The Koopmann family continued to run beef cattle and farm walnuts on the Ranch until the early 1990’s when the walnut orchard became infected with ‘blackline’ disease and was removed. Tim and Melinda Koopmann (parents of Clayton) continue to run a commercial beef cattle operation on the Ranch primarily composed of Red Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn cross cattle. Clayton, Natalie and Chance along with Clayton’s sister and her family continue work together to manage the Ranch and continually work to improve infrastructure to enhance the ecological benefits of our grazing practices.
The Koopmann Ranch is home to a diverse wildlife population including blacktail deer, mountain lions, bobcats, badgers, nesting golden eagles and special status wildlife species including the California tiger salamander, California red legged frog, Callippe silverspot butterfly, and western pond turtle. The Koopmann Family partnered with the California Rangeland Trust (CRT) to place three separate conservation easements on portions of the property to protect wildlife habitat for these special status wildlife species in perpetuity. The Koopmann family implements wildlife friendly infrastructure including fencing and wildlife escape ramps in all of the water troughs. In addition, we partner a member of the Ohlone Audubon Society who monitors bird activity and has installed several barn owl nest boxes and over 100 western bluebird nesting boxes throughout the property. In 2004 the Koopmann Ranch received the Excellence in Range Management Award from the Society for Rangeland Management and in 2011 was awarded the Leopold Conservation Award celebrating their extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation.
In addition to work on the Koopmann Ranch, Clayton and Natalie own and manage their own herd of angus-cross commercial cattle on a number of ranches throughout Alameda and Santa Clara Counties including public land owned by the City of Pleasanton, Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority, and Santa Clara County Parks where they continue to implement science based conservation grazing methods to provide continued ecological value on the properties which they graze.
Natalie grew up showing horses in Northern California which evolved into a deep passion for not only horses, but all livestock. Natalie was an active member in Elk Grove FFA where she raised and sold market lambs. She attended Chico State University where she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science with a minor in Ag Business. During her time at Chico, Natalie worked full time on the school’s organic dairy where she gained experience in animal husbandry and cattle production. Following college, Natalie went to work for a veterinarian where she further developed her animal husbandry skills before going to work full-time as a Territory Business Manager for Zoetis, marketing animal health products for beef cattle throughout California and Arizona. Natalie met Clayton, a cattle rancher from the East Bay Area, and got married in 2017. Together Clayton and Natalie have worked to expand the commercial cow/calf business and in 2020 Natalie made a long-time dream a reality. Through hard work, dedication, and a desire to provide safe, healthy, locally produced beef, Natalie and Clayton created Koopmann Family Beef.
Clayton, a 5th generation cattle rancher, was born and raised on his family ranch in Sunol, California. Growing up, he enjoyed spending time out in the hills hunting and fishing, though his fondest memories were spending time with family riding horses and working cattle. With the help of his parents and Grandmother, Clayton started a herd of registered Hereford cattle which he showed in 4-H and FFA at fairs and stock shows throughout California. Clayton attended the University of California, Davis where he received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Management and Rangeland Resources in 2007. Following college, Clayton went to work as a Rangeland Manager for Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District where he was instrumental in developing a Conservation Grazing Program which reintroduced cattle grazing to more than 12,000 acres in San Mateo County as a tool to enhance ecological values across coastal grasslands. In 2017 Clayton transitioned to the Rangeland Manager position with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission where he oversees grazing leases on nearly 40,000 acres in the Alameda Creek Watershed. Clayton also operates Koopmann Rangeland Consulting providing grazing and natural resource management services on ranches throughout California. Clayton has a deep passion for not only livestock and the ranching heritage, but managing cattle to enhance ecological values including native grasses, oak tree regeneration, soil health, water quality, and habitat for the diverse wildlife found throughout Northern California. Clayton and Natalie complement one another extremely well in their motivation, hard work, and passion for raising healthy, quality cattle on ranches throughout the Bay Area.
William "Chance" Koopmann
Chance, son of Clayton and Natalie, was born in November of 2018 and is the 6th generation of Koopmann’s to grow up on the family ranch in Sunol. Chance can’t spend enough time outdoors and absolutely loves the cows, horses, and all the cattle dogs, including his own pup “Boone”. While Chance enjoys ATV rides in the hills checking “His” cows, his favorite ride is on “Pacman” trotting through the hills with his Momma.
Cade Colter Koopmann
Cade, second son of Clayton and Natalie, is our Covid baby, born in February of 2021. Like his brother Chance, Cade loves spending time outdoors exploring and hanging out with the horses, and of course his favorite is his Momma’s horse Boomer. Cade is the happiest guy around and loves to laugh and smile but is fearless which gives his poor Momma a heart attack daily. Chance and Cade are best buddies and Chance is always looking out for little brother. If you are ever missing a phone, remote control or your keys, just check the toilet because that is Cade’s favorite hiding spot.