Behind the Scenes: Meet our Team at Hidden Canyon Ranch & Farms

by May 4, 2020News

At Hidden Canyon Ranch & Farms, our team is like family to us. Some of them actually are family! We would love for you to get to know the people behind the scenes here.  It takes a village to run a farm and we love our little village of helpers. Each one of them brings a unique set of talents and experiences to the team. It is a huge bonus that they are all a joy to work with as well.

 

ERIN O’BRYAN

Proprietor, Chief Wrangler

Growing up as the daughter of a zookeeper, Erin has always had a love of animals. Many a day was spent behind the scenes at the zoo and at home, with the menagerie she had accumulated. She learned to fly hawks & falcons, raise ducks, care for snakes and tend to bunnies. And Erin learned gardening at the knee of her mother, a master gardener, able to grow veggies from the most urban of spaces. 

 

Attending college at UCLA, Erin’s interests turned to social justice issues. After graduation, Erin went on to study law at Loyola Law School, earning her J.D., and heading off to practice in New Orleans at a firm specializing in the rights of women & children. Eventually returning to her native California, Erin left her career in law to become a full-time mother, her most rewarding career choice to date. 

 

As her kids grew older, Erin decided to return to school, this time for a degree in holistic health coaching, something she had been studying on her own for years. And it was her practice as a health coach that led her to the understanding that good health is fueled by good food, and good food comes from healthy soil & farming practices. 

 

So it was only natural that Erin would begin to put this knowledge to work on her Ranch, first on the small vineyard, next on the hay crops and then on to the chickens. Gradually, large garden beds have been added, composting is going strong, the sheep & chicken flocks are expanding and the little biodiverse universe is growing by the day. 

 

In her day to day running of the Ranch, Erin draws from the principles of regenerative agriculture, biodynamics & sustainability. And a constant awareness that mother nature is really the one in charge. 

JENN ROARK

Artist in Residence, Chief Gopher-Trapper, Farmer & Rancher

Jenn is a constant presence here at the Ranch, and we are a better place for it! She keeps up on the “gopher problem”, works in the gardens, creates recipes using our freshly farmed ingredients and adds her artist’s eye to all she touches. 

 

And Jenn does all this while mothering (with husband Ryan of course)  a very busy 4-year-old, also known as our youngest rancher, Ellis.  Btw, Ellis can tell you what plants around the ranch are edible, how to use a broad fork, and how best to harvest a daikon. He even wrangles the lambs for us. But back to his mom…

Currently, Jenn is creating a labyrinth for us high atop one of our hills. We are excited to share that with you when it’s complete. We can’t wait to see what other visions of beauty she will bring to life for us here at the Ranch.

Jenn’s philosophy:  I am in constant awe of the beauty that is nature and it is my desire to create subtle, abstract work across various media that simply remind us of that beauty. 

To see more of Jenn’s inspiring artwork, go to www.jschepporiginals.com 

 

RYAN ROARK

Ranch Manager, Winemaker, Farmer, Polo Player

Growing up in rural northeast Texas, Ryan developed a love of the land and being outdoors. His first jobs were helping friends on their cattle ranches and many a day was spent either on horseback or in the woods hunting deer and ducks. Just like his father and grandfather, he attended Texas A&M where he completed a B.S. in Bioenvironmental Sciences. His love for vineyards and wine was born while spending a summer in France. After completing an exchange program at an agriculture university in Angers, he spent one month at a small domaine in Savennières.

 

Since that summer he has worked at wineries and vineyards in the Napa Valley, New Zealand, and, for the last ten years, Santa Barbara County. With his wife Jenn, he now operates a small farming and winemaking operation, Roark Wine Company, and manages a number of vineyards, including the vineyards here at Hidden Canyon.

 

Over time he has become increasingly interested in more diverse farm systems.  His inspiration comes from regenerative agriculture, permaculture, biodynamics, and some old Roman agriculture books. Our Ranch has welcomed all his expertise & ideas and is fortunate to call him our Ranch Manager.

ABBY O’BRYAN

Animal Whisperer, Wrangler & Tamer

From the time she got on a horse at age nine to the time her mom caught her cuddling a very feral cat, Abby knew all creatures were her “spirit animals”. 

When Abby says, “this is a good dog, you should get it”, we listen. And when Abby tells Spot, the 6-foot tall llama, not to spit, he listens! We would be lost without her animal guidance, training, and compassion.

Abby is currently completing her undergraduate degree in psychology. We secretly hope she’ll become a vet though! She has such a gift with animals.

 

DECLAN O’BRYAN

Ranch Photographer, Field Dragger, Gator Driver & Chief Ranch Swag Advisor

This young man is becoming well known for his talents in photography and we are lucky enough to have him here on the Ranch!

Declan is the artist’s eye behind many of our social media photos. He is also our chief advisor on our Farm Swag designs. Declan doesn’t believe a t-shirt can be too soft! (He’s right.) 

This year he is learning the under-appreciated skills of weed whacking and weed killing with a vapor torch. Fun stuff!

STACIE MORRIS

Chief Small Animal Wrangler

Stacie Morris is our Chief Small Animal Wrangler. Stacie grew up in the area and is an avid outdoorswoman and animal lover.

She has been with us for over a year now and we don’t know how we survived without her before! She’s in charge of our small animals, especially the canine kind, but she’s become well versed with the hooved animals as well.

Plus, she’s also one of the hardest working farm hands we’ve ever come across! We love having Stacie on our team. 

 

COMING SOON: Schedule a Farm Tour . Come out and meet our team!

 

Location

Hidden Canyon Ranch is located between the cities of Buellton & Lompoc, just off of highway 246 in rural Lompoc. 5425 Campbell Road, Lompoc, California 93436.