Patrick Dale “Doc” Hatfield
March 17, 1938 ~ March 20, 2012

Doc Hatfield, by Denise Breyley

The Western Folklife Center is saddened to hear Oregon rancher Patrick Dale “Doc” Hatfield, who co-founded a ranching cooperative that helped create the natural-beef market, died of pancreatic cancer on March 20 at age 74.

Born in Roseburg, Oregon, he worked on his uncle’s ranch in Douglas County and went on to earn a degree in veterinary medicine, earning him the nickname “Doc”. He served in the U.S. Army and worked as a veterinarian in Oregon and Montana, before moving to Brothers, Oregon.

In 1986, Doc and his wife Connie founded the Country Natural Beef cooperative with other ranch families, having the goal of making family ranching viable by promoting lean, local, hormone-free beef to area customers. Over the next 26 years, Doc and Connie earned the respect of ranchers and conservationists, industry leaders and health food advocates alike.

Doc and Connie Hatfield shared their experiences at the 19th National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in 2003, during panel discussion about how rural communities can succeed in a global economy.