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 which included commercial cattle, sheep, and goats in Southeast Missouri. He received a B.S. in Animal Science from Missouri State University and a M.S. in Animal Science/Animal Breeding from Montana State University. Shortly after, Bruce earned a Ph.D. in Animal Science/Meat Science from South Dakota State University.
Bruce and his family own and reside on Sassafras Valley Ranch in Belle, MO where they raise livestock under a managed-intensive grazing system on 300 owned and 1,000 leased acres. Currently, they run 250 registered South Poll cows and have a flock of 200 commercial Katahdin hair sheep and 30 commercial Kiko goats. Dr. Shanks maintains a part-time role as an associate professor of Animal Science at Lincoln University, in Jefferson City, Missouri.
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.