Member benefits a priority for new Association president

By JAN JACKSON

For the Capital Press

Strengthening membership in the 114-year-old Oregon Sheep Grower Association, is the number one priority for new president Reed Anderson of Anderson Ranches in Brownsville, Ore.

Anderson was elected during the 2009 OSGA Convention, Dec. 3-5 in Pendleton.

A fifth generation sheep grower and 30-year member of OSGA, Anderson also wants to preserve existing member benefits including the legislative support for predator control and product promotion they contract through RDK Marketing Co.

"One of the reasons OSGA membership is a top priority for me is that we are only as strong as our numbers, and for our processors to process more efficiently, we need to grow," Anderson said. "We are proud that our sheep production ranks seventh in U.S. and that 10 percent of our lamb is consumed right here in Oregon. If we could get that same per capita consumption across the nation, it would be hard to produce enough to satisfy the U.S. consumer."

Anderson, whose great-grandfather and grandfather raised small flocks and sold their fresh lamb directly to customers on Front Street in Portland, processes half of his grass-fed lambs locally and sells the other half through Superior Farm's Dixon, Calif., plant.

"We have whole new generation discovering lamb, and that means new opportunities," Anderson said. "There are new people out there that are learning that lamb not only tastes good, but it's healthy, too."

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