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 80ís 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!