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California’s Longest-Serving Governor Prepares for Life’s Next Chapter on Rural Northern California Ranch

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The thought lingered with Jerry Brown, perhaps sustained through the years by an old black-and-white photograph in his state Capitol office. The image is a man with a long, white beard feeding his sheep in a rustic 19th-century setting.

California Gov. Jerry Brown and his corgi, Colusa, ride in an all-terrain vehicle on his Northern California ranch in Colusa County. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

California Gov. Jerry Brown and his corgi, Colusa, ride in an all-terrain vehicle on his Northern California ranch in Colusa County. (Credit: Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

California’s longest-serving governor told himself that one day he should do something special with all of that rolling Northern California acreage that once belonged to his great-grandfather August Schuckman, the man in the photo.

“This land and this place put me in touch with the way people lived before,” Brown told The Times in an interview on a cold winter afternoon, sitting under a large oak tree on the Colusa County property his family calls Rancho Venada.

“In the evening, particularly when the moon comes up over the mountains, and the silver glow on the trees and the barns and the shapes of the mountains, it’s a feeling that I’m in the right place at the right time,” Brown said.

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