Dear Heritage Foods USA Supporter,
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Brian Anselmo, a board member and farmer for Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch. Brian was the most charismatic of individuals who infused endless energy into one of the greatest food conservation stories of recent memory.
Brian leaves behind his mentor and friend Frank Reese as well as an endless array of family and friends in Kansas City and around the world.
We would like to find a positive to Brian’s passing but that is not possible. It is just plain sad. All we can do is carry on the work that he helped start and that we will do with great energy and passion.
Please find below a lovely note from Diane Halverson of the Animal Welfare Institute and also Brian’s obituary from in the Kansas City Star.
By Diane Halverson
Brian Anselmo passed away unexpectedly on September 2, 2008 at 28 years of age. Brian’s joie de vivre 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.
Kansas City Star
Brian Mitchell Anselmo
Brian Mitchell Anselmo, 28, passed away on Tuesday, September 2, 2008. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Brian Anselmo Memorial Fund c/o Nick Nash at M & I Bank, 6333 Long Avenue, Shawnee, KS 66216.
Brian leaves behind his father and mother, Jerry and Mary Ellen Anselmo; sisters, Julie Sano and husband, Richard, and Lori Anselmo; nephews Massimo and Luca Sano; business partner and friend Frank Reese; countless family members and friends, and his two dogs, Carmella and Izzie.
Brian was born in Kansas City, MO, on February 19, 1980. He graduated from St. Thomas More Grade School, Rockhurst High School, and The University of Missouri Columbia. He grew up playing premier soccer for the Udinese Soccer Club, went on to excel in football in high school and college, and was the greatest CYO point guard in basketball history.
He was always the life of the party and was well known in Columbia and Kansas City for showing off his physique and "sense of style" at local watering holes. He was very proud of his Italian heritage and wore his gorney proudly. He was a city boy turned free-range poultry farmer much to the shock of his suburban parents. He managed Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch in Lindsborg, KS, and was employed by the Animal Welfare Institute where he traveled the country educating farmers on the humane treatment of animals. Brian will be missed by all who knew him. "Selmo rules!"