ASHWOOD, Ore. – Ann Snyder was nine years old when she begged her father not to sell the family farm, but her tears
Ann Snyder’s dream came true when she got her own Central Oregon Ranch
Determined some day to have a ranch of her own, Ann’s dream came true in Central Oregon didn’t change his mind. Determined someday to return to farm life, Ann now raises sheep, meat-goats and market-hogs on her own ranch.
“I was heartbroken when my folks sold the farm, and no matter how hard I tried to convince my dad that I could run it when I grew up, it didn’t do any good,” Snyder said of her early childhood in Molalla, Oregon. “We had 350-acres of grain and grass seed and raised cattle and sheep. It was in my blood.”
During the growing season, Ann rises at 5:00 am, hits the shower, grabs a cup of coffee and does the chores. Once done, she and her husband Bing load coolers of meat, fleece, hand-spun yarn and display tables for the booth and drive the 24 miles to Madras Saturday Market.
“I enjoy the social part of the markets, but the work involved in setting it up and taking it down isn’t easy,” Snyder said. “It is fun though, to greet the locals who come back each week and the people who come through the area from all over the world. We especially enjoy what we call the motor home gypsies who travel through and stock their freezers before moving on to their next stop. They love being able to buy fresh lamb, pork and goat raised without antibiotics or growth hormones.”
In addition to her ranching, Snyder is on the board of directors for the Natural Colored Wool Growers Association and the Madras Saturday Market. She was one of the volunteer planners for the recent highly-successful first annual Shaniko Wool
Snyder specializes in fresh lamb and goat raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. She is a volunteer writer for the Black Sheep Newsletter magazine and a founding member of the American Romeldale/CVM Breeders Association. In the off season, when more of Snyder’s life alternates between caring for the livestock and doing business on the computer, she is researching recipes for and better ways to market her products.
“Bing and I are two people following two dreams. His dream is writing, radio storytelling and photography and mine is my livestock. I could do without the coyote problems and the housework and sometimes it’s hard to stay on track when you work for yourself but I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Photo caption: Ann Snyder at her Black Diamond Ranch; photo by Jan Jackson