we mourn and celebrate this young farmer’s life

posted September 9, 2008

A young energized organizer and dedicated farmer recently passed away after returning home from SFN.

Brian Anselmo passed away unexpectedly on September 2, 2008 at 28 years of age. Brian’s joie devivre and sense of humor were a breath of fresh air to those of us fortunate enough to know him. Brian poured a zest for life into his family and friends, his beloved dogs Carmella and Izzie, and into the serious mission of conserving rare breeds of poultry and improving the lives of animals through his day to day husbandry of standard bred chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese pastured on the Kansas farm of his dear friend, mentor and business partner, Frank Reese. He poured the same enthusiasm and a sense of fair play into his work in AWI’s Animal Welfare Approved program where Brian was a compassionate friend and colleague eager to help animals and the family farmers who husband them. Brian had just returned from 4 days at Slow Food Nation in San Francisco, where he spoke to attendees about the importance of preserving and enlarging the presence of standard bred poultry on American farms and promoted the Animal Welfare Approved program. In the words of Frank Reese, Brian was just getting a sense of what could be possible in the world and what his role in improving the lives of animals and people and protecting the planet could be.

We grieve the loss of a special young man with so much promise, who was already an inspiration and model for other farmers and who was excited about doing so much more. Brian’s important work will continue to impact the welfare of animals and the people and the planet that surround them, and his memory will continue to inspire us.