Frankie Iturriria has been in the sheep business his whole life. My father, Paco Iturriria, emigrated from the town of Lekaroz in the Navarra region of Spain in 1952. After accumulating enough money to begin his own sheep operation 8 years later, Paco and his 2 brothers (Andres and Miguel) started I & M Sheep Company in 1958. The operation continues today and at one time in the early 80’s held upwards of 18,000 sheep, 500 head of mother cows, and a farming operation. In 1972, after a brief courtship, Paco married my mother from the nearby town in Irurita, Spain and they moved to Bakersfield, CA.. Here they raised 3 children: Frankie, Louis, and Julia. We were raised in a Basque household that always adhered to the traditional Basque family values. We continue these traditions today!
I attended local schools in Bakersfield and moved on to begin my college career at Bakersfield College. Then I transferred to study my major of Agricultural Business at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. After graduation I began my career at Grimmway Farms in production agriculture where I continue to be employed today.
I first started buying my own sheep in 2001. They were usually 1-2 loads a year of ewe lambs and I would turn around and sell them a year later as bred ewes. In 2008, I purchased a sheep outfit from Pedro Mari Zalba. I have remained in the business full time and run around 2300 breeding ewes. My operation has 4 fulltime employees from Peru who are employed through the Western Range Association. Since 2008, I have taken great pride in producing quality American raised Lamb. I consider myself a forward thinking producer and always am looking to incorporate new ideas to make my lambs the best they can be. I also have started a relationship with the largest solar farm in California, Topaz Solar in the Carrizo Plains. There my sheep are helping to enhance the ecosystem on the array while at the same time mitigating fire danger for the project.
I married my beautiful wife, Renee, on December 31, 2007 in Bakersfield. Together we have 2 twin boys, Adrian and Marcos, who are 5 years old. One of the biggest reasons I remain in the sheep business is because I want to raise my boys the same way that I was raised!
Linda Campbell -- Virginia – Having grown up on a family farm, Campbell has been working with farm operations her entire life. She currently runs a 60-acre farm producing 250 kids annually as well as pasture and hay production. A major focus of the operation is on goats for breeding stock or export and domestic sales. Campbell has worked with 30+ countries, providing over 100,000 head of goats for export. She also produced and marketing milk for cheese manufacturing.
Campbell holds a B.S. in Journalism.
Campbell is a member and past president of the American Dairy Goat Association and the Virginia State Dairy Goat Association. She is also a member of the Virginia Agribusiness Council, Virginia Farm Bureau, Southern States Cooperative and American Dairy Goat Products Association.
Glen Fisher – Texas -- Fisher and his wife Linda are major partners in Askew-Fisher Ranch and they have about 1100 Rambouillet Ewes, 800 Meat goat nannies, and 250 registered cows. He served as president of the American Sheep Industry Association, co-chaired ASI’s Wool Council and served on the association’s Resolutions Committee. Fisher is past-chair of the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center. He is also past president of the Texas Sheep & Goat Raisers’ Association and has served as director for the Texas Polled Hereford Association. He was manager of the Sonora Wool & Mohair Co. for 16 years. Fisher has a Bachelors and Masters degrees in Agriculture Economics from Texas Tech and Oklahoma State respectively and worked for Texas A&M as an Extension Economist for 5 years.
Cody Hiemke – Wisconsin -- Cody has raised sheep for more than 30 years. Besides managing his own ewes, he coordinates the production of Niman Ranch’s 8,000-10,000 lambs annually for nine western ranchers.
Hiemke received both his M.S. and B.S. from University of Wisconsin – Madison. His graduate work focused on the use of ultrasound to evaluate carcass merit in lambs.
Hiemke currently holds the position of vice chairman for the National Sheep Improvement Program, was appointed to the American Lamb Board and is a member of the California Wool Growers Association and the Wisconsin Sheep Breeders Cooperative. He is also active on the American Shropshire Registry Association.
Laurie Hubbard – Pennsylvania -- Having grown up on a small farm, Hubbard has been involved with sheep her entire life and is back on a family farm where she maintains a flock of 150 commercial ewes. As a career shepherd at Pennsylvania State University, she managed a flock of 75-225 purebred Dorset brood ewes and 20-50 commercial brood ewes.
Hbbard graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a B.S. in Animal Science.
Hubbard is involved with the Pennsylvania Sheep and Wool Growers Association, was appointed to the American Lamb Board, and serves on the American Sheep Industry Association’s Lamb Council. Other committees she has been involved with include Pennsylvania Depart of Agriculture Sheep and Goat Livestock Committee, Animal Health and Diagnostic Commission, Pennsylvania Farm Show and Keystone International Livestock Exposition.
Janet Mawhinney – Pennsylvania -- Mawhinney is a fifth-generation sheep producer. She and her husband, Michael, raise approximately 100 Polled Dorsets on a farm that has been in Janet’s family since 1814. They also raise guard donkeys and hay. Mawhinney served on the executive board of the American Sheep Industry Association and was co-chair of ASI’s Legislative Action Council, which she has been active on for many years. Mawhinney is a member of the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, County Pennsylvania State Cooperative Extension Board, Pennsylvania Sheep and Wool Growers Association and former member of the Pennsylvania State Farm Service Agency. She has also served as the Make It Yourself With Wool Director for the state of Pennsylvania and as a 4-H leader for the Sheep Club.
Marsha Spykerman - Iowa, served as the Region IV representative on the American Sheep Industry Association’s Executive Board from 2011 through 2014. During this time, she held leadership roles on the Education and Research Council and the American Lamb Council.Spykerman and husband, Vernon, began raising sheep when they moved back to the family farm in 1980 and today have a commercial Midwest operation, running about 450 ewes in an intensive lambing setting. The couple shed lambs their ewes and moves the later lambing group out to farm ground that has been converted to pasture when the lambs are about one-week old. The Spykermans lamb approximately 100 ewes in late February and early March to produce replacement ewes for their flock. The remaining ewes lamb later in the season, producing commercial lambs that are finished on the farm and marketed by the couple.