We’ve been keeping up with the stars of the Food Network for years — and there’s no doubt the regulars make serious earnings from their shows. While The Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond may be a relative newcomer to the network, she’s still pulling in major cash. And her show aside, her successful blog, books, and line of products is also certainly keeping her and her family afloat with their life on the ranch.
It’s not just her Pioneer Woman label that brings her money, however. It turns out she’s receiving millions of dollars from the government, too. Here’s why.
Ree and Ladd Drummond own 433,000 acres of land
In The Pioneer Woman intro, we see plenty of cut scenes of Ree and Ladd Drummond’s incredible ranch, and Ree talks at length about her land ownership and how far away from civilization she feels. But few viewers realize just how much land the Drummonds own. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, their ranch sits on part of their 433,000 acres of land in Oklahoma. This amount also marks them as the 23rd largest landowners in the U.S.
As for how they came to acquire all of this land, Ree can thank her husband, Ladd, for his family’s business. The publication notes Ladd descends from a family of cattle ranchers who have held down thousands of acres in Oklahoma and Kansas for decades. And in 2015, the Drummond Land & Cattle Co. was even inducted into Oklahoma’s Quarter Horse Hall of Fame.
The government reportedly has paid the Drummonds over $20 million
Now that it’s been established that the Drummond’s land ownership extends over half the size of Rhode Island, here’s why the government is paying them serious cash. According to Daily Mail Online, records revealed that since 2006, the Bureau of Land Management had given the Drummond Land & Cattle Co. over $23 million. The AJC notes that’s a payout of around $2 million per year.
So, why is the government handing over so much cash? Daily Mail Online notes the Drummonds are paid to keep wild horses and burros on their huge property for “animal protection” purposes. Some of the payouts have been huge for the family, too, as the publication notes their largest one totaled over $2 million and was given to them on New Year’s Eve back in 2015. A more recent payout in June 2017 still totaled over $1 million, too. It seems as long as the Drummonds are willing to use their land to help protect the wildlife, they’ll continue to receive these huge government checks.
Ree’s still pulling in a lot of money from her many business endeavors, too
The Drummonds could easily live purely off of what the government is awarding them, but thanks to Ree’s success through the Food Network and her blog, the family’s making plenty more. Mashed notes all the way back in 2010, Ree claimed she was making at least $1 million in ad revenue from her blog alone — and that was well before her food show even began. While she wasn’t an experienced blogger when she began, fans loved following her tales of life on the ranch, and eventually they also stayed for her comforting recipes. Ree is still pulling in tens of millions of visitors to her blog per month.
The Pioneer Woman on Food Network pulls in a ton of income too, of course. And we can’t forget that Ree’s best-selling cookbooks, highly-anticipated public appearances, and beautiful general store/restaurant (The Mercantile) are also major income-boosters. More recently, she and Ladd also embarked on a new creative venture — and that was their eight-room hotel called The Boarding House. Both The Mercantile and The Boarding House are located in Pawhuska, as she wanted to give fans a taste of life in her hometown. And with room rates varying between $150 and $280 per night, there’s no doubt she can add this to her long list of successful businesses.
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