Heritage Chicken Definition Endorsers


The following indviduals helped to craft the Heritage chicken definition and have signed on as endorsers of the definition. They come from a variety of backgrounds including academia, research, poultry education, poultry production, and more.

Marjie Bender Marjorie Bender
Marjorie is the former Research and Technical Program Director for The Livestock Conservancy. She has a M.Ed. in Agricultural Science from the University of California-Davis, has been involved in sustainable agriculture since 1991, and has over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. She led The Livestock Conservancy’s heritage turkey and heritage chicken conservation efforts.

Don Bixby

Donald Bixby
Don was involved with The Livestock Conservancy since from 1980 to 2009 and served as Executive Director from 1988-2002. He was responsible for organizing the first North American rare breeds show and sale and for establishing the The Livestock Conservancy Rare Breeds Gene Bank. He has been the liaison to the USDA National Animal Germplasm Program and a leader in founding Rare Breeds International.

Phil Sponenberg Phil Sponenberg
Phil has served as the Technical Advisor for The Livestock Conservancy since 1978. He is employed as a veterinary pathologist and geneticist at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. He has written several books on color genetics and rare breed conservation. He is sought after as a speaker on genetics as well as rare breed conservation. Phil has taken the lead on Spanish horse rescues and is a conservation breeder of Spanish horses, and Tennessee Fainting goats. He works closely with several breed organizations as well as individual breeders of several different breeds.

Frank Reese Jr. Frank Reese Jr.
Frank owns and operates Good Shepherd Ranch in Lindsborg, Kansas. Frank has raised standard varieties of turkeys since his childhood, and is currently leading the effort to conserve heritage turkeys through breeding, production collaborations with regional farms, and regional and national marketing strategies. He is dedicated to raising all of his poultry humanely on pasture and providing his customers with the highest quality turkey available. Frank also breeds chickens, ducks, and geese and has begun marketing selected breeds.

Danny Wi8lliamson Danny Williamson
Danny breeds Standard Bred poultry for production and show. He currently maintains breeding flocks of 400 Black turkeys, 300 Plymouth Rock chickens, as well as Cornish, Dark Brahma chickens, and White call ducks. Danny is a general license judge for the American Poultry Association and has earned the title of Grand Master Breeder in Black turkeys, Standard Dark Brahma chickens, and White Call ducks. He serves on the Board of Directors and is employed as the General Manager and Chief
Financial Officer of Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, Inc.

Dr. Scott Beyer
Dr. Scott Beyer attended Texas A&M University and received an undergraduate degree in Biochemistry in 1983. He obtained his Masters and Ph.D. degrees in the Animal Nutrition Program from the University of Georgia and then worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate for Harvard University in the Department of Nutrition. He now is an Assistant Professor position at Kansas State University where he is the coach of the KSU Collegiate Poultry Judging team. Dr. Beyer is also the Poultry Extension Agent for the state of Kansas. His research focuses on feed manufacturing and poultry nutrition.

Anne Fanatico
Anne is currently employed as a Research Associate at the Center of Excellence for Poultry Science at the University of Arkansas. Anne hold a Ph.D. from the University of Arkansas, a MS in Animal Science from Oregon State University, and a BS in Zoology and Spanish from the University of North Carolina. She worked overseas for two years in Costa Rica as a Peace Corps Volunteer specializing in agroforestry. Her areas of specialty at NCAT include small livestock; particularily pasture-based poultry production, including organic production, new marketing options, and alternative feeding.

Kenneth Anderson
Prof. Anderson’s extension and research responsibilities include
animal welfare as impacted by molting practices, and the impact of these practices on the welfare of the laying hen. He also does research on shell egg cooling and processing; layer performance and management; and on the biological basis for chemoprevention of ovarian cancer. Prior to joining N.C. State University in 1990, Prof. Anderson spent seven years at the Dept. of Animal Science at Kansas State University. He has also spent three years in industry, as general manager of the State Line Egg Producers Cooperative Association, Inc., in Beatrice, Nebraska.