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DENVER – Reed Anderson of Brownville, Ore., was elected to represent Region VIII on the American Sheep Industry Association’s Executive Board at the 2017 ASI Convention in Denver, Jan. 25-28.
Anderson’s mantra for his operation and for the sheep industry in general is sustainability.
“I am excited about the prospects for this industry and get up every day wondering which opportunity is going to become available to us on this day,” said Anderson. “I see American lamb as a growing market and a sustainable income for sheep families today and into the future. I feel that anyone who wants to be in the sheep business today has great opportunity. We are a really great part of agriculture today.”
Anderson is a fourth-generation sheep man. He comes from a diversified family operation that had sheep, cattle, crops and a custom processing business. He started connecting to the sheep industry in high school when he learned to shear. After high school, he had the opportunity to shear in New Zealand for a short time before coming back to the states to start his own shearing career.
Anderson and two of his sons, a third son passed away in 2000, run a diversified operation where they raise ewes and feeder lambs, and grow grass seed. They also operate a processing facility and market their Anderson Ranches Oregon Lamb. Being in the “grass-seed capital of the world” – 95 percent of the world’s annual rye grass is grown in the Willamette Valley – makes for a nice resource for Oregon sheep producers like Anderson.
Anderson purchases an average of 15,000 lambs annually that he pastures on fields of alfalfa, rye grass and broccoli, to name a few. He and his son also shed-lamb a couple thousand ewes each year. Their ewes are a composite sheep of mostly English breeds – breeds that thrive in the wet Oregon climate.
In 1998, the Anderson-brand lamb was established. It started small by processing one to two lambs a week but quickly grew to 200 lambs per week. With the processor unable to grow as fast as Anderson, he began construction on his own processing facility in 2012. This USDA-inspected custom-slaughter facility currently processes 400-500 lambs per week along with 70 head of beef cattle.
Anderson has been a member of many local and national organizations, including the American Lamb Board, Oregon Sheep Commission, Oregon Sheep Growers Association, the local fire board and the Lynn County Planning and Building Commission.
Anderson represents Region VIII, which includes Oregon, Washington, California, Alaska and Hawaii.
ASI is an equal opportunity employer. It is the national trade organization supported by 45 state sheep associations, benefiting the interests of more than 88,000 sheep producers.