USDA Appoints Four to American Lamb Board
December 19, 2019 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the appointment of four industry representatives to serve three-year terms on the American Lamb Board (ALB),
Newly appointed board members announced on December 19, 2019, are:
- Jeff Ebert, Saint George, KS, representing producers with 100 head of lambs or less
- Gary Visintainer, Craig, CO, representing producers with 500 head of lambs or more
- Donald Hawk, Danville, OH, representing lamb feeders
- Travis Anderson, Brownsville, OR, representing first-handlers
Jeff Ebert raises mostly registered sheep of four different breeds. He is currently active in the American Hampshire Sheep Association. His family sells commercial rams and club lambs; in fact, they have sold sheep into more than 30 states and three foreign countries. The farm, near Garden City, KS, is operated by Jeff, his wife, Kerri, and their two adult children, Monica and Christine.
Gary Visintainer is a third-generation rancher from western Colorado, who was born and raised in the sheep business. His grandfather emigrated from Austria in the early 1900s, building and developing the ranch from the 1920s into the 1940s. Gary has been a partner in the operation since the 1970s. The Visintainers range flock of Columbia-type ewes graze in the desert on Bureau of Land Management allotments during the winter, while the rest of the year is spent in the mountains on private land or leased state land. Gary earned both a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and animal science bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University. As time allows, he continues his veterinary work at a large-animal clinic in Craig, CO.
Don Hawk has been farming for 53 years. In addition to feeding lambs, he raises corn, soybeans and turkeys. Don has served as an officer of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association Board of Directors and is currently a board member of the National Lamb Feeders Association. His hometown is about halfway between Akron and Columbus, OH.
Travis Anderson is a fifth-generation sheep producer. He manages the harvest and processing facility for Anderson Ranches Lamb, an integrated ranch and processing operation that supplies premium grassfed Oregon lamb to top steakhouses and restaurants from Seattle to New York. The plant was built in 2013 to support the industry’s need for more harvest and fabrication options while reducing the environmental impact and animal stress by building a local facility. It is USDA inspected and designed around Temple Grandin’s Best Standards for Humane Handling. Travis and his wife Jessica have two young children, Scarlett and Dean. Travis’ father, Reed, is a past ALB director and member of the American Sheep Industry Association Executive Board.
ALB has 13 directors: six producers, one seedstock producer, three feeders and three first-handlers. Two producers appointed to the board must own 100 or less head of lambs annually; one producer must own 101 to 500 head of lambs annually; and three producers must own more than 500 head of lambs annually. At least one feeder must feed less than 5,000 head of lambs annually and at least one must feed more than 5,000 head of lambs annually.
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