Sassafras Valley Ranch
Location: Belle, MO
Region: Midwest / Upper Midwest
Bruce Shanks has been involved in the livestock industry his whole life. Bruce was raised on a diversified livestock farm in Southeast Missouri. He received a B.S. in Animal Science from Missouri State University, a M.S. in Animal Science/Animal Breeding from Montana State University, and Ph.D. in Animal Science/Meat Science from South Dakota State University.
Bruce and his wife, Sunshine, own and reside on Sassafras Valley Ranch in Belle, MO where they raise livestock under a managed-intensive grazing system on 620 owned and 1,000 leased acres. Their son, Paul, who grew up with South Poll cattle, and his wife, Lainyn, are the next generation of Sassafras Valley Ranch. Currently, the operation consists of 250 registered South Poll cows and a flock of 200 commercial Katahdin hair sheep and 30 commercial Kiko goats. Sassafras Valley also conducts animal science research for leading nutritional companies. They have four buildings that are dedicated to poultry, swine, small ruminant, large ruminant, and horse research.
Bruce has served/serves on several boards and committees including the Missouri Forage and Grasslands Council, Missouri Farm Bureau Sheep & Goat Advisory Committee, Mid-Missouri Grazing Committee, Maries County Farm Bureau, Osage County Extension Council, Maries RII FFA Advisory, and the Belle Fair Board. He is on the board for the South Poll Grass Cattle Association. He is also affiliated with the American Society of Animal Science and Katahdin Hair Sheep International.