Siskiyou County CattleWomen recently presented Ruth Porterfield of Dorris, Calif. with the 2020 Pioneer Beef Woman award during their 65th Anniversary celebration at the Butte Valley Community Center, according to a news release.
The Pioneer Beef Woman of the Year award was initiated in 2001 to recognize ladies that have dedicated more than 25 years to the beef cattle industry in Siskiyou County. Their dedication to the cattle industry can be in many different forms; including various duties ranging from cattle management, farming, bookkeeping and the many day-to-day work activities on the ranch, and being involved in another professional career that benefits cattle production in a significant way.
Porterfield has spent the majority of her life as a dedicated ranch wife, cattlewoman, mother, and grandmother; helping to lead an impactful legacy for her family. She moved to Siskiyou County from Montebello, Calif. in 1954 and graduated from Butte Valley High School shortly thereafter. Her father, a local butcher, loved Siskiyou County for its hunting and fishing opportunities.
She met her husband of 59 years at a dance in Dorris when she was 20 years old. He was a local rancher and had lots of horses. They married Sept. 18, 1959, and Ruth began her life with Harold on the Porterfield Ranch.
Running the ranch was a family effort with Harold, his mom Mary, and two of his brothers along with their families. She took over bookkeeping for the ranch when her mother-in-law, Mary, a previous Pioneer Beef Woman award recipient, passed the responsibility on to her.
While supporting Harold in completing daily ranch duties, she also raised their two sons, Guy and Chet, and daughter Jill, which eventually led to six grandkids.
Porterfield has been a member of Siskiyou CattleWomen for 48 years and served one term on the officer team a few years after joining. She is also a long-time member of the local pinochle group and enjoyed playing bridge and golfing for many years. Although she doesn’t ride horses anymore, she still enjoys her life on the ranch and keeping up on her grandkids with their many endeavors and activities.