Rue & Forsman Ranch dates back to the 1940s when its founders, Frank Rue and John Forsman, began raising beef cattle in northern California. In the 1970s, Frank’s son, Michael Rue, decided to take advantage of the rich clay soils on the ranch by introducing rice production to the operation. More recently, Michael’s stepson, Michael Bosworth, has helped make Rue & Forsman one of the most innovative and sustainability-minded rice producers in the state.
Bosworth, founder and CEO of Next Generation Foods, is an ardent proponent of precision farming and environmentally sound agricultural practices, including GPS yield mapping, prescription fertilization, precision field leveling. It’s this forward-thinking approach to farming that leads to a superior product, asserts Bosworth.
“Some competitors prioritize margin or yield. But we want a premium product, not just a product,” he says. Rue & Forsman Ranch grows more than a dozen varieties of rice that are sought after by top chefs across northern California. Their basmati rice is considered by many to be the best quality rice of its type grown in the United States.
Bosworth is a champion of conservation practices that enhance the natural resources on and near the ranch. By building partnerships with trusted organizations focused on ecology, he’s been able to create a thriving habitat for a variety of migratory birds, waterfowl, fish and other animals and insects.
“Everything we do is geared toward making the land better than it was when it came into our hands,” explains Bosworth. “This way we will have something of value to pass on to the next generation of farmers.”