Multi-Millionaire Cowpoke Ladd Drummond, whose little “missus” is Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman), rakes in Taxpayer Dollars

by Debbie Coffey                      Copyright 2015                   All Rights Reserved.

It has been 2 1/2 years since the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) last gave the public a tour of any BLM Long Term Holding Pastures, which are used to warehouse once wild horses that were rounded up by helicopters used by BLM contractors and permanently removed from America’s public lands.  So much for the BLM’s claim of transparency.

Millions of readers follow Ree Drummond as she blogs about ranch life, her children, and her husband, whom she calls Marlboro Man. Photograph by Sylvia Plachy.   Millions of readers follow Ree Drummond as she blogs about ranch life, her children, and her husband, whom she calls Marlboro Man. Photograph by Sylvia Plachy. (Source: The New Yorker)

Ladd Drumond, his brother Tim and their dad, Charles, are partners in Drummond Land and Cattle, which has a BLM contract for Long Term Holding pastures for our wild horses.  Ladd is married to “The Pioneer Woman,” Ree Drummond, a Food Network cooking show host/blogger/photographer/cookbook author who writes folksy blogs about her life on their ranch in Oklahoma.  Kind of like she’s a pioneer woman.  Except in real life, Ree is wealthy and has both a house and a nice lodge on her ranch.  (Nothing like the real pioneers, who had to trod across the plains in a covered wagon.)

In a 2013 article on Modern Farmer about America’s 100 Top Landowners (“The who’s who of modern American land moguls”) the Drummond family was listed as #17 (the 17th largest landowner in the U.S.), with “433,000 acres.”

While some of this land may belong to other Drummond family members, Ladd and the little missus are getting by.

It was estimated that Ree’s blogsite income was about a million dollars or more per year just from display advertisement alone.  She also makes dough from her Food Network cooking show, her cookbooks,  her book, the movie option based on her book “Black Heels to Tractor Wheels,” based on her life (and persona) as “The Pioneer Woman.”

But Ree didn’t exactly fall off the back of a turnip truck.  Her father, William Dale Smith, is an orthopedic surgeon and Ree grew up on the grounds of a country club in Bartlesville, OK.  Ree went to the University of Southern California, lived in Los Angeles, before she met Ladd.

Besides all of the fingers Ree has in other pies, she and Ladd renovated a building for an office and a deli in Pawhuska, OK, near the ranch.  It’s good to know Ladd won’t starve, especially since he claims he only makes $100,000 profit per year.

He seems too modest.  From 1995-2012, Drummond Land and Cattle has received $1,573,102 in USDA farm subsides. $81,458 of the subsidies were since 2011, when Ree started her cooking show on the Food Network.  Let’s just look at 2003-2012, when Drummond Land and Cattle has had the BLM contract to warehouse wild horses:


Income from Tax Payers

 (Ladd Drummond photo:

(Ladd Drummond photo:

To be fair, Ladd did seem to try to save a bit of money by using his kids as ranch hands.  Here’s a photo of Ladd and Ree’s little cowboy son in the saddle in the top photo. (He’s the short one in the brown jacket.)  However, the BLM contract requires that the horses have “management by individuals who are knowledgeable and experienced about the behavior and nutritional requirements of equines…”  (I assumed this meant adults, not 7 year olds.  Or adolescents, who aren’t listed on the contract as key personnel.)  Other people have noticed the child labor, too.

On Nov. 9, 2010 the BLM had a tour of the Drummond long term holding pasture, but only allowed credentialed media. However, at a blogging event held by Ree Drummond, bloggers got to see and take photos of the wild horses.    And although you can no longer see many wild horses on any public lands, or even on the private property where the BLM warehouses them, Ree and Ladd and their friends can see the wild horses right out of the windows of their house.  Any time they want to.

Ree has written stories about and posted photos of our wild horses on their property on “The Pioneer Woman” blog, uses photos of the wild horses at the top of her facebook page, and uses footage of the wild horses running on the promo for her cooking show.  Could her use of these photos/video of our wild horses have made her image seem a little bit more “pioneer-like,” and, in part, contributed to her (and also Ladd’s) fame and personal financial gain?

It seems like Ladd Drummond wrote about the wild horses on Ree’s blog (after articles about Ladd Drummond were posted on this website).  Boy, his writing is so good that it almost seems like a professional PR person wrote it!

Ladd, Tim and Charles Drummond, partners in Drummond Land and Cattle, are listed as key personnel on the BLM contract.  A 2007 story in Tulsa World revealed that Charles R. Drummond, his sons Ladd Drummond and Tim Drummond, and nephew Thatcher Drummond, received more than 40 speeding tickets in the state in the last decade.  At least 18 of those were dismissed in their home county.

The article states: “The four members of the Drummond family have been clocked by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol driving 95, 97 and 112 mph, all speeds listed on tickets that have been dismissed by judges in the county.  Although the Drummonds paid a fine and court costs on all dismissed tickets, the tickets do not go against their driving records.

And here’s my favorite part of this story: “Osage County Special Judge John Boggs, who approved many of the dismissals as an assistant prosecutor and later as a judge, said he had no idea how fast the cited speeds were…Boggs said he had been to several bar association parties at the Drummond ranch but does not believe that he gives the family special treatment.”

The Pioneer Woman has written about Ladd’s cousin, Thatcher Drummond.  Thatcher, who seems to have been arrested for speeding and driving under the influence in 2008, is the son of Tom Drummond, who was a president of the Osage County Cattlemen’s Association, on the tax committee for the National Cattlemen’s Association, and chairman of the tax committee for the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association.

The Drummonds are active in the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association, which was listed on United Organizations of the Horse original website as opposing the prevention of cruelty to equines bills that make it a felony to market, transport, consume or use of horses for human food.”

Charles R. Drummond seems to be listed as a partner of Drummond & Hull Oil Company.  Charles and Ladd Drummond have been listed as shareholders and on the Board of Directors of a company called, an e-commerce company that provided pharmaceuticals to office-based physicians., was previously called, which was previously called Golden Pharmaceuticals.  According to a 1999 Los Angeles Times article:

“The Internet is a financial miracle.  Just ask Santa Ana-based Inc.  Three months ago, it was a dog of a company called Golden Pharmaceuticals Inc. that lost money in 13 of its previous 14 quarters and had been virtually ignored by investors.  It also is a defendant in 47 lawsuits in three states related to personal injury claims by consumers who used the Phen-Fen diet drug combination it sold.

Since the BLM places our wild horses on private property, this invites questions about the people who oversee the horses and about the proximity of the horses to homes and to activities in the area, as well as any supposed “oversight” by the BLM.

While the Pioneer Woman seems nice and I’m sure we’d all like to race through town (don’t worry about any speeding tickets) to go visit and have some blackberry cobbler, there’s a nagging feeling about the unfairness in seeing a select few people have the privilege of unfettered access to our wild horses, that we, The American People, don’t have access to any more.  Even while our tax dollars pay for every aspect of the BLM’s mismanagement of the Wild Horse & Burro Program.

Reprint: BLM Long Term Holding ~ Wild Horse Heaven or Hell

(In my own words) by Terry Fitch, updated forward by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

“Yesterday, 7/8/2014, Debbie Coffey shared information on this blog about one of the BLM’s long term holding contractors who, regardless of their wealth and TV personality status, abused their equine charges by holding a devastating fireworks display over the very area that we, the taxpayers, are paying to warehouse our splintered remnants of captured wild horses.  This report from Debbie, which only shared posted information from Ree Drummond‘s publicly published blog, set loose a fire-storm of misinformation and attacks from a serious group of internet trolls who thought they were coming to the aide of their beloved multimillionaires ‘Pioneer Woman’ and her husband who is nicknamed after a cigarette.

As usual, anything that comes close to the BLM and/or grazing interests, the attacks were full of misinformation and blatant lies regarding the property where the horses are kept…”the area is full of valley’s, hills, forests, etc. so the horses never saw a thing.”  Sorry trolls, we know different, we have someone who has been there under the watchful eye of the BLM during a sanctioned tour and that someone is my wife and co-founder of Wild Horse Freedom Federation, Terry Fitch…and it was all caught on camera and published, here, on November 12th, 2010.

Granted, the Drummond property is expansive and not all of it is legally designated as holding for the horses but one of it’s unique characteristics is that, outside of the eastern and north east corner, it is wide open prairie land.  Not a tree to be seen and the “valleys” are nothing more than gentle rolling hills making it very easy for humans or horses to easily view overhead pyrotechnics.  It’s wide open folks with only a gentle hill barely obscuring the Drummond compound to the major state road to the south.

Debbie has reported the facts, these people use your money given from the BLM to warehouse horses that should never have had their freedom and families destroyed in the first place and their abuse of your trust should be exposed.

Please take a few moments and read Debbie’s report, if you have not, and read the report written by Terry back in 2010; one who rarely speaks and never writes.

There is truth in the words of both these brave and outstanding women.

Thank you Deb and Terry.

Keep the faith!” ~  R.T.

Pretty to the Eye – Sterile to the Soul

Tulsa, OK Nov 11, 2010 – (SFTHH) The much anticipated “press day” for the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Long Term Holding Tour started out by meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn Hotel (Airport) at 8:00 am in Tulsa, OK. Debbie Collins, National WH&B Marketing Specialist; Lili Thomas,Wild Horse & Burro Program Specialist; Pat Williams, WH&B Facility Manager; Art from the Media Division of the BLM; Janet Jankura, Public Interest Representative from the BLM National Wild Horse and Burro Advisory Board; two gentlemen reporters from Tulsa World and me.

We drove for about an hour and a half where we stopped and picked up 3 more people along with a local film crew (Channel 6). We continued on our journey until about 10:45 when we got to our first destination. The ranch was located out in the middle of virtually nowhere. We could see herds of wild horses before we even entered the ranch. I must admit, it was very picturesque; like something out of a movie. We were greeted by Ladd Drummond of Drummond Land & Cattle Co., a fourth generation rancher. The Drummond family (according to The Land Report) owns approximately 120,000 acres which, according to Debbie Collins of the BLM, 24,292 of those acres are dedicated to the approximately 3400 wild horses living out their lives on this land.

If I didn’t know the first thing about wild horses, I would say that this is a paradise for the horses; however, I do know a little something about wild horses. The BLM attempts to portray this living arrangement as a paradise for the horses with their videos of the horses frolicking through the pastures. If these were domestic horses, it would be a perfect environment; but, they’re not. They are wild horses that belong in the wild. I guess; however, it is better than the alternative feed lots and 3-strikes $25.00 sales to kill buyers.

While all looks completely natural to a non-horse person, you soon realize that the mares and geldings are living in separate facilities; hence, no family units. The reason, according to the BLM, is that some of the geldings could still reproduce due to Cryptorchidism and other such oddities; therefore, foals were being born, adding to the alleged problem.

The ranchers, per Ms. Collins, are paid $1.35 to $1.50 per head, per day. For these 3400 horses, that equals to $4590-$5100 per day or $1,675,3500-$1,861,500 per year. Out of these moneys, the ranchers are required to pay for everything from feed, hay, pasture maintenance, fencing, vet care, etc. In addition, they are required to provide chutes to unload the horses and small corrals to acclimate them to their new environment. From there, they are moved to a paddock and then to their final pasture.

The horses are vaccinated, only once, when ‘processed’. After that, they virtually live out their lives as ‘wild’ horses. Once the horses are at the long term facility, there is no hoof care nor vaccinations. The BLM does, however, require there to be adequate amounts of rocks in the pastures so that the horses wear their hooves down naturally. A potential long term facility must add rocks to their pastures in order to be accepted into the program. At the two facilities we visited, both had rocks in the pastures and, from what I could tell, their hooves looked naturally worn. There were natural water sources such as ponds and creeks, along with water troughs.

The ranchers seed and fertilize the pastures along with ‘managed burns’, if necessary. And, to help them sustain in the winter months, the horses are supplementally fed pellets along with hay. Of course, being in captivity, it doesn’t take them long to recognize the feed truck and chase it, which they did in our presence.

All in all, it’s the perfect place for domestic horses not wild horses that are ripped from their family bands, separated by gender, and living their days out. The horses do live longer in captivity.

There are 16 such long term facilities; 10 of which are in Oklahoma. The BLM plans to add 4 more next year for a total of 20 facilities in 5 states.

The second facility was a reiteration of the first facility; only there were 2500 horses on 19,295 acres.

Multi-Millionaire Cowpoke Ladd Drummond & Pioneer Woman put on explosive fireworks show for wild horses AGAIN!

by Debbie Coffey, V.P. and Director of Wild Horse Affairs, Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Once again, multi-millionaire cowpoke Ladd Drummond and wife, Ree (the multi-millionaire “Pioneer Woman”), “treated” the wild horses under his care in Long Term Holding on their pastures (and likely a couple of other nearby Long Term Holding pastures) to another loud fireworks show for the 4th of July.


(Ladd Drummond photo: 

On July 4th, 2014, Ree Drummond wrote on her Pioneer Woman website:

“Well, fireworks had to be obtained.  I’ll just leave it at that until my Fireworks 2014 post on Monday.  Warning: You might need sunglasses in order to read it!  My husband and his brother have still not learned the fine art of subtlety when it comes to purchasing legalized explosives.

And actually, you might need a welding mask in order to read it.  The photos will burn holes in your retinas!”

Then, on 7/7/14, Ree posted videos of the fireworks HERE.  (Be sure to watch these so you can imagine how much the wild horses liked them.  Also, notice the last photo, which shows the many empty fireworks boxes being thrown into the back of a truck.  We’re not talking about a few sparklers here.)

Under one video, Ree wrote “And here’s where all eight kids wound up trembling on my lap.  And a couple of parents, too.”

(I’m surprised 2,931 wild horses didn’t end up on her lap!)

We wrote about the Drummonds and fireworks in 2011 (READ HERE).

In 2012 I sent an e-mail to BLM’s Joan Guilfoyle, Dean Bolstad and Mike Pool informing them:

“Once again, Ladd Drummond, who has a wild horse long term holding contract in Oklahoma, put on a really big 4th of July fireworks show (see link below) on his property. These weren’t just a few sparklers, but what seemed to be hundreds of 500 gram fireworks (there are quite a few photos of the many boxes, including a box of 9 “One Bad Mothers”).

His LTH pasture and another wild horse long term pasture are only a few miles apart.  How do you think the wild horses fared during the big fireworks show, with the loud noise and the fireworks bursting in the air? (The fireworks could probably be seen for miles, since Oklahoma is relatively flat.)  

Do you consider a fireworks show to be in violation of the BLM contract with this long term facility?  If not, why not?  We look forward to your response.”

There was never any response from Guilfoyle, Bolstad or Pool.

But, there WAS another article on the fireworks in 2013 (READ HERE).

This is another example showing that the BLM doesn’t seem to care about the welfare of the wild horse & burros.  But we do.  And, with your help, we’ll continue to fight for the rights of the wild horses & burros to live on their federally protected Herd Management Areas with their family bands.

BLM Contractor Blasts Fireworks Near Wild Horses, Again!

SOURCE:  PPJ Gazette

by Debbie Coffey                 Copyright 2013        All Rights Reserved.

Once again, a Bureau of Land Management (BLM) contractor, Ladd Drummond (husband of Ree Drummond, “The Pioneer Woman”) had a big bash and fireworks show on the 4th of July, in very close proximity to the wild horses that the BLM has warehoused on 3 Long Term Holding pastures in Oklahoma.

photo of Ladd Drummond by:


In 2011 I wrote an article about Ladd & Ree Drummond and it included, among lots of other juicy tidbits, the subject of their fireworks show, and this:

“Under a photo of fireworks on her blog, Ree wrote

‘Basically, we frightened each and every one of our guests.’

Didn’t Ladd Drummond worry that the fireworks bursting in the skies or the noise from the fireworks might scare the wild horses?  The fireworks could’ve even scared the wild horses at nearby long term holding pastures, which seem to be only about 1½ miles away at one point, and only about 15 miles away at the farthest point. This is a relatively flat area with few trees.  And horses have good hearing.”

In 2012:

Last year, there were cases and cases of 500 gram fireworks, pictured on Ree Drummond’s blog along with photos of the fireworks bursting in the night sky.

I sent the following e-mail to Joan Guilfoyle, Dean Bolstad and Mike Pool of the BLM, and to Tim Harvey, who’s on the BLM’s National Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board, and copied a few wild horse advocates like R.T. Fitch, Ginger Kathrens and Anne Novak:

“Once again, Ladd Drummond, who has a wild horse contract in Oklahoma, put on a really big 4th of July foreworks show (see Link below) on his property.  These weren’t just a few sparklers, but what seemed to be hundreds of 500 gram fireworks (there are quite a few photos of the many boxes, including a box of 9 ‘One Bad Mothers.’

His LTH pasture and another wild horse long term pasture are only a few miles apart.

How do you think the wild horses fared during the big fireworks show, with the loud noise and the fireworks bursting in the air? (The fireworks could probably be seen for miles, since Oklahoma is relatively flat).) Sure, the bar-b-q looked good, but if this is the kind of “care” the wild horses receive at this facility, I formally request that this contract be revoked.                                                                                                                                                 Do you consider a fireworks show to be in violation of the BLM contract with this long term facility?  If not, why not? We look forward to your response.”

I did not receive any response (it seems they don’t want to reply, unless hogtied).

In 2013:

This year, the Drummonds had another big 4th of July party, and although Ree didn’t post photos of the fireworks lighting up the night sky like she did last year, she did include a photo located here,

of the many empty fireworks cases, so it seems that hundreds of fireworks were set off again.

Fireworks can be from about 120 decibels to 150 decibels, which is as loud, or louder, than artillery fire.  Horses have a keener sense of hearing than humans, and “horses have a very strong emotional response to whatever sensory input they might receive.  And the emotion is fear.  Fear triggers your horse’s flight mechanism”

Do you think the wild horses were spooked when Ladd Drummond set off those “bad mothers?”  Could the excitement cause an injury?  Do you think this is “safe?”  At roundups, the BLM makes members of the public (except for their friends and family) stand far away, so a glint of sunlight off our sunglasses doesn’t spook the wild horses.

The BLM contract with Ladd Drummond states “All horses shall be handled, treated and maintained in a humane manner.”  The contractors are to maintain the facility in a safe condition.

Isn’t the grass dry in Oklahoma in the summer?  What if any of the fireworks malfunction?  Isn’t there a risk of fire?

The contract also states that “The site is not intended to be a public viewing area.  Therefore, the contractor will restrict or prohibit access onto the site by the general public.”  I guess the “general public” doesn’t include the Food Network’s film crew.

Ree Drummond has “used” the wild horses in promoting

her cooking show on the Food Network, and as subjects on her blog. The Drummonds have had the wild horses on their property since 2003, yet it doesn’t seem that Ree Drummond, with her fame and fortune, has issued one public peep against horse slaughter (especially in her home state of Oklahoma). 

This is what Ladd Drummond (Ree calls him the “Marlboro Man”) supposedly wrote about the wild horses and it was posted on Ree’s blog on May 21, 2012:

“I like having the wild horses. Besides giving us a way to diversify our cash flow, they are fun to take care of. Watching a herd of horses run across the pasture is pretty cool, even for someone like me who has grown up around animals my whole life.”

But there are disadvantages also. For one, the horses are less profitable than cattle—especially in today’s market. While you don’t have money tied up in inventory, you also aren’t seeing an appreciation of value that you get when you own the cattle. Another disadvantage is that they can be harder on the land than cattle. For me, that is the worst part.”

Yes, it would be “pretty cool” to have wild horses running across your land, like the American public used to have on their public lands.  But now, only a select chosen few (usually, wealthy individuals) have access to enjoy this public asset on their private property.  And also, Ladd, doesn’t Ree’s cooking show on the Food Network (and the sale of her cookbooks) “diversify” your “cash flow?”

The “worst part” for us is that Ladd Drummond, like many other BLM contractors, is using poor judgment on what would be best for the wild horses, but continues to operate unchecked (just like the BLM).

To learn more (and for a couple of laughs):


See the beginning of the “Horsing Around” episode:

Food Network’s Pioneer Woman Show Smells Like…???

article by Jillian Madison reprinted from Food Network Humor

“I can see my wild horses from my kitchen window”

“We attempt to give you something on Sundays to recharge your batteries and have been remiss over the past few weeks as there just has not been that much in the way of great news to relate and we sincerely do not want to blur the focus we are attempting to keep before our readership regarding our efforts to stop the inhumanity of the BLM’s handling of our wild horses.  But today we have a little comedy piece that ties in nicely with the great article published earlier this week by investigative reporter Debra Coffey.  If you have yet to read it, please click (HERE) to do so.

The entry below continues the saga of Ree Drummond, self-proclaimed Pioneer Woman and rolling in dough contractor for the BLM as she and her husband own one of the wild horse death camps where gender separated herds, cruely stripped from their rightful lands, simply live out their lives waiting to be either sold off to slaughter (covertly of course) or to simply die without family or social structure.  Sick, twisted and totally off the wall, this practice is being highlighted as something good and “cool”.  So today, grab a giggle and make a few notes as we have a busy week ahead of us and the horses are going to need the help of each and every one of you, big time.  Thanks Deb and Jillian!  Oh, this article is for big kids only.” ~ R.T.

I specifically went in to the premiere episode of Pioneer Woman knowing nothing about Ree Drummond or her family or her sprawling ranch. I didn’t want to be influenced by the alleged throngs of blog-readers who have her placed atop some high pedestal. I wanted to form my own unbiased opinion of her and the show, which I most certainly did. And my opinion is this: WOW. IT SUCKED.

I mean it really, really sucked.

I will say from the 22-minutes of footage I saw, Ree seems like a lovely woman. She really does. However, I think it was Yoda who said: a lovely woman does not a good show make.


The lodge. The ranch. The shots of people wrangling animals. The “our life is so hard because we’re the only people on the universe who have to get up at 5 AM” mentality. The “let me serve my man breakfast while he’s herding cows” bullshit. The useless footage of a cute little boy running to get his little cowboy hat. The whole thing tried way too hard. It was way too overproduced and schticky. It was all so nauseatingly phony and sickeningly sweet that it quickly became annoying and intolerable to watch.

Also, on what planet is it appropriate – or even encouraged – to wear your cowboy hat to dinner? I guess only on Food Network, where they’re really trying to drive the point home that they LIVE ON A RANCH.


As mentioned above, Ree made a “special” dinner for her husband because the poor guy had to get up at 5 AM to go to work. As someone who watched her dad get up at 4 am every day for 20 years to then drive 20 minutes to a train station to then take a 2 hour train to NYC, color me unimpressed with her cowboy’s 5am-2pm workday.

Anyway, Ree made a very “special” dinner consisting of country fried steak and mashed potatoes. And by “special” I mean “enough fat and grease to kill a grown man standing.” Oh yeah. Move over, Paula Deen.

Every time Ree said “ball-SAM-ic” vinegar, a little piece of me died. The lecture about only using whole milk to make gravy was painful. The quip about kings and presidents not being able to find her ranch was intolerable. But the worst part came when she awkwardly paused her gravy-making and said: “Shhh, do you hear that?” Yes, I do. It’s the sound of your metal whisk rubbing against your metal cast-iron pan AND IT IS MADDENING.


Food Network’s website describes Ree’s husband as a “hunky rancher.” I describe him as “a total d-bag.” Maybe it was the editing… maybe it was nerves… but he came off as a pretentious, smug, selfish, disparaging prick. When he came into the kitchen to the chorus of kids screaming “daddy! daddy!” he didn’t acknowledge them. Or Ree. He simply said, “Is that our food?”

And (and!) he wore those disgusting, filthy, manure-laden cowboy boots in the house without a care. No worries. I suppose one of the 92 maids will clean it up.

I don’t plan on tuning in to this show again. I hate phoniness, and unfortunately, the Pioneer Woman reeks of it.

The worst part? It was all so completely unrelatable. I didn’t watch her cook and say: “wow, I need to make this for my family.” I watched her and said, “wow, this woman and I have absolutely nothing in common, and if I served my friends/family any of those dishes they would disown me. ”

It wasn’t ALL a waste, though. I did take one interesting little fact away:

Find out more about Jillian Madison by clicking (HERE)