Your 2015-2016 ASI Executive Board
Background: Pfliger is a third-generation sheep rancher who was born into the business. He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science from North Dakota State University in 1985. Currently, Pfliger and his wife Pattie run approximately 400 ewes, which make up a purebred Hampshire flock, a purebred Suffolk flock and a flock of Rambouillet/Dorset cross commercial ewes. The Hampshire and Suffolk flocks are used to produce range and terminal sires. Prior to election to secretary/treasurer, Pfliger served as the Region IV representative and is currently chairman of the ASI Wool Council. Pfliger previously served as the chairman of the Production, Education and Research Council, and additionally he served on the Legislative Action Council and the Predator Management Committee. He was elected to four terms as president of the North Dakota Lamb and Wool Producers. In addition, Pfliger served as vice chairman on the executive board of the Ag Coalition in North Dakota, and has served as the chairman of North Dakota State University’s (NDSU) Board of Ag Research, Livestock Granting Committee. He currently serves as the chairman of the Missouri Slope Wool Pool in Bismarck, N.D. Pfliger was nominated to NDSU’s Agriculturist of the Year and was presented the North Dakota Master Sheep Producer award in 2005.
Background: Corn owns and operates sheep, cattle and goats, lambing around 3,000 ewes annually. He is a fourth-generation rancher who is proud to be working with the next generation, his son, Bronson. The Corn family has been raising sheep in the Roswell area since the 1880s. Corn owns and operates his own ranch, as well as leases additional ranches, operating around 125,000 acres. His herd consists of white-faced, fine-wool sheep, mainly a merino cross, and he markets his lambs through Enchantment Lamb Co-op. Corn is also the majority owner of Roswell Wool Warehouse, which he and his partners purchased in 1992. Roswell is now the largest wool warehouse by volume in the United States and they recently opened a facility in Long Beach, Calif. Corn says he believes the warehouse continues to be successful because it is operated by "producer oriented" owners who are also part of the sheep industry. Corn is an active member of ASI's Re-build the Sheep Inventory Committee, Chaves County Farm Bureau, New Mexico Hereford Association and is past president of the New Mexico Wool Growers Association and of the Chaves County Soil and Water Conservation District. Corn earned a Ranch Management Certificate from Texas Christian University. He has been married to his bride, Jennifer, for 28 years. They have three children (Jessica, Bronson, Jenny) and one grandson (Garrett).
Benny Cox - Secretary/Treasurer
Background: Cox started his career in the livestock industry in the late 1960s with his employment at Producers Livestock Co., the largest sheep auction in the nation, while attending high school in San Angelo and then earning his bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics in 1975 at Angelo State University. Today, he remains employed at Producers as the sheep and goat sales manager. His personal involvement in sheep, whether it be in production, feeding or trading, has lasted more than 35 years. He now has both a sheep flock and a goat herd. For many years, Cox managed the sale of anywhere between 600,000 and 800,000 head of sheep that moved through Producers; however, due to the recent drought, predation pressures, labor issues and income from hunting options, he has seen a reduction in sheep production in the area. As in the case of the 2011 drought that affected the Southwest, Cox facilitated, through both the doors of Producers and private treaty sales, the movement of breeding ewes to northern states where feed conditions were better. Cox is a past president of the Texas Sheep and Goat Raisers’ Association and has been a member of ASI’s Lamb Council.
W. Keith Stumbo - Region I
Region I = Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Background: Stumbo runs approximately 175 sheep, which make up a purebred flock of Columbia, Dorset and Southdown breeds, on a small farm in western New York. He sells breeding stock, both ewes and rams, to 4-H members as well as rams to commercial flocks. Stumbo is also involved in showing sheep in the open class at a number of fairs both in and out of state. For the past 10 years, Stumbo has been the president of the Empire Sheep Producers. He has represented the state of New York as the voting director on the ASI board of directors for the last nine years. He has served on ASI’s Legislative Action Council and American Wool Council. Stumbo is on the board of directors for the Columbia Sheep Breeders Association and the American Oxford Sheep Association. Stumbo is retired from his position as vice president of a light construction equipment company where he was in charge of international sales. He holds a degree in business management from Alfred State College. He and his wife, Kathy, have two daughters and seven grandchildren.
Bob Leer - Region II
Region II = Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
Background: Leer grew up on a Kentucky farm producing tobacco and hogs. It wasn’t until 15 years ago that Leer and is wife of 30 years began the sheep operation when their kids, now 28 and 25 years old, wanted to show sheep. Today, Leer’s flock consists of 35-40 head of Hampshire sheep. The lambs that aren’t raised for the club lamb flock are sold privately to the ethnic trade or at the stock yards. Leer’s son, an accomplished showman, continues to help with the farm as Leer has been employed by Toyota in Georgetown, Ky., for the past 24 years. For the past decade, Leer has been an active member of the Kentucky Sheep and Wool Producers Association (KSWPA). He was president of the Kentucky Club Lamb Association. He has also held the position of vice president and is the current president of KSWPA. For the past three years, he has served as the Kentucky director on the ASI Board of Directors.
Susan Shultz - Region III
Region III = Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin.
Background: Susan and her husband, Bill, operate Bunker Hill Farm, a third-generation diversified family farm. After raising registered Rambouillet sheep for 25 years, they have transitioned to a production-oriented Suffolk flock. They are committed to genetic improvement through the use of objective measurements and the National Sheep Improvement Program. Performance criteria are centered on multiple weighings for growth and the use of ultrasounds for loin eye and fat determination. Their market has expanded from Midwest commercial flocks to include Western range operations. The Shultz’s are the 2004 award winners of the ASI Environmental Stewardship Award. Over the years, sheep have been their focus keeping them extremely involved with the various local and state sheep associations. Shultz is retired from a 35-year career in education where she was a gifted education coordinator and teacher. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University and a master’s degree from Iowa State University.
Region IV = Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma and South Dakota.
Background: Ebert has been raising sheep throught his entire life and bred his first champion lamb in 1962. Ebert, who currently has 125 ewes on his farm, raises mostly registered sheep of four different breeds. He was recently elected as executive secretary of the American Hampshire Sheep Association. His family sells commercial rams and club lambs and has sold sheep into over 30 states and three foreign countries. His sheep operation benefits from the help of his wife, Kerri, and their two adult children, Monica and Christine.
Bob Buchholz - Region V
Region V = Texas
Gary Visintainer – Region VI
Region VI = Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona and Nevada
Background: 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 throughout the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s. Visintainer has been a partner in the operation since the 1970s. The Visintainers run a range operation where their white-faced Columbia type ewes are on the move throughout the year. In the winter, the sheep graze in the desert on Bureau of Land Management allotments while the rest of the year is spent in the mountains on private land or state-land leases. The operation has run ewe numbers ranging from less than 1,000 to as many as 6,000 depending on economic and wildlife conditions. He is an advocate of the Let’s Grow campaign and is in the process of increasing his flock numbers. Visintainer has worked his way through the officer ranks with the Colorado Wool Growers Association and is currently serving as president. Visintainer holds a Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Animal Science from Colorado State University. He practices medicine in a large-animal clinic in Craig, Colo., when time permits.
Ken Wixom – Region VII
Region VII = Montana, Idaho and Wyoming
Background: Wixom got his start in the sheep business just as he was graduating with a degree in Animal Science from Brigham Young University in 1971. He used what money he had to buy 60 old ewes at $20 apiece. Today he runs 4,000 ewes and 600 mother cows. He also grows hay and crops on about 1,000 acres. Wixom formerly served as president of the Idaho Wool Growers Association.
Joe Pozzi - Region VIII
Region VIII = Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington
Background: Pozzi is a fourth generation sheep and cattle producer, raising livestock all his life in Sonoma and Marin counties and a 1984 graduate of Chico State University. He owns Pozzi Ranch Lambs, which direct markets grass- and legume-fed lambs. In order to provide a year-round supply of lamb, Pozzi works with a group of family ranchers in Northern California and the Sacramento Valley who have all qualified for the Pozzi Ranch Lamb Program. In addition to direct marketing lamb to consumers, Pozzi Ranch Lamb can be found at Whole Foods Markets in Northern California. In 1993, Pozzi created a market for his medium-grade wool for use in natural bedding products. It is used by manufacturers of natural bedding products for pillows, comforters, blankets and mattresses and is source verified. Dedicated to land conservation and the economic viability of family farms, Pozzi has served on a number of industry boards and associations, including past president of the California Wool Growers Association, past president of the Sonoma County Farm Bureau, a member of the ASI Wool Council and Predator Management Committee, past president of the North Bay Wool Growers Association, member of the National Farm Bureau Sheep Advisory Board and past director of the National Wildlife Advisory Board.
Milt Ward – Lamb Feeder Representative
Background: Ward was born and raised on a cattle ranch in the rural southeastern Idaho town of Paris, where he still resides. In 1979, he went to work for C.D. Ranches, owned by Calvin and Alicia Dredge, and headquartered in Rupert, Idaho. In 1990, Ward purchased his own ranch but continued working part-time for C.D. Ranches. In 2000, following the passing of Calvin, Ward gave up his operation and went back to working full-time with Alicia. Today, C.D. Ranches runs 6,000 ewes, 250 mother cows and 200 yearlings. The ewes spend the fall and winter grazing on the border of southern California and Arizona, returning to Idaho for the spring and summer. The ranch also operates a small lamb feedlot in Idaho.
In additional to his membership with the NLFA, Ward is a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, Idaho Farm Bureau, California Wool Growers Association and is a director for the Idaho Wool Growers Association.
Background: Clint Krebs of Ione, Ore., is a fourth-generation sheep producer and has been running sheep his entire life. He currently runs range ewes as well as operates a lamb feedlot. His only break from sheep was to get his bachelor's degree in agriculture economics from Oregon State University. Before being elected to an ASI office, Krebs represented Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii on the ASI Executive Board. He has served as co-chair of the ASI Resource Management Council, has been a director for the National Lamb Feeders Association and currently serves as the chair of ASI’s Re-Build the Sheep Inventory Committee. In addition, Krebs has served as past president of the Oregon Sheep Growers Association and has served as past chairman of the Oregon Sheep Commission. Krebs and his wife, Maureen, have two daughters, Jessica Langley and Shelby, and a son, Cameron.