Directors

The board of directors of the American Water Buffalo Association is made up of people with specific interest and expertise who make best drill press for metal that affect the future of water buffalo production. The following short profiles of our board members highlight their contributions to the American Water Buffalo Association.

The association is seeking additional board members. Members do not need to own or be involved in water buffalo production to serve.

Robin Anderson
Chiefland, Fla.
352 493-4700

Robin Anderson’s 10 water buffalo have no trouble competing with several dozen cats, a few dogs, miniature donkeys and horses, and several full-size horses.
They stand out because of their intelligent nature and their ability to interact with one another and with humans.
“What I enjoy is their interaction with humans,” said Anderson, a retired veterinarian. “It’s so much fun to try to communicate with them. If you love animals, this is a very special animal.”
In 1989, Anderson was on crutches and took up an offer to see some water buffalo because there was little else she could do because of her injury.

When she saw how Wy Cripe, a fellow veterinarian, handled them, she knew that water buffaloes were animals that would fascinate her. She bought three of them from AWBA President Hugh Popenoe and began to raise a herd.
Anderson has a farm near Chiefland, Fla., where she keeps her water buffalo and other animals. She is interested in training water buffalo for the draft and for riding. She also sells some animals for breeding stock.

W.R. Fewox
Frostproof, FL
863 635-4033

W.R. Fewox has 200 head of water buffalo among the many exotic animals on his FX Bar Ranch Inc. near Frostproof, Fla.
“Of all the exotics that we’ve got, they’re better than any of them,” said Fewox.
The meat yield is superior, he said, and the animals also are utilized as the game on a hunting preserve. Fewox mainly sells breeding water buffalo to people trying to start their herd. Fewox also has worked with buffalo for riding purposes.
Also on his ranch are 600 head of beef cattle, over 1,000 head of domestic deer and 123 acres of citrus.
He brings a wealth of experience as a commercial cattleman to the board of directors.

Faith Fortune 
Laurel Hill, FL

Faith Fortune of Laurel Hill, Fla., became a member after her husband, Johnny Fortune, a longtime board member, passed away. The Fortunes became interested in cattle in 1980 with the purchase of a small herd of Texas Longhorns. In 1985, while attending a longhorn auction at Berry College in Rome, Georgia, they got their first look at water buffaloes. Having never seen them before, Faith described them as a cross between a hippopotamus and a hog. Thus began a long and positive experience with water buffaloes.

Lou Gast

Lou Gast is a former AWBA board member and former senior executive of the Food Safety Inspection Service and now serves as director and CEO of the HACCP Consulting Group, which provides technical and managerial assistance for the development, implementation, and maintenance of HACCP programs and systems.

Renato Confalonieri

Renato Confalonieri is a former chef who has developed a water buffalo cheese production company in California, where he markets water buffalo milk products to large populations of Asian and other ethnic groups. His mozzarella and ricotta cheeses have won gold medals.

Loren Psaltis

Loren Psaltis is a South African with a background in the cosmetics and fashion industry. She is interested in starting the first water buffalo herd in South Africa to produce milk and milk products.

Matthias Overholt

Matthias Overholt is a member of the Amish Mennonite community near Sarasota Fla. Overholt believes that small farms and small-scale farmers can succeed in the United States. He purchased 13 young buffaloes from AWBA President Hugh Popenoe to begin a milk production operation and hopes to expand the herd.

Susan Loraine

Susan Loraine’s New Horizons Farm in Pittsboro, N.C., produces pork, beef, chicken, and eggs that are free of hormones, antibiotics and animal by-products. Her latest venture – water buffaloes – will fit nicely into this production mode. The lean meat is attractive to health-conscious people, and with imported semen from Italy now available, she plans to move quickly into the water buffalo dairy business.

Hugh Popenoe
Williston, FL
352 392-2643
E-mail: [email protected]

Hugh Popenoe, president of the American Water Buffalo Association since it was founded in 1986, has 400 water buffalo on Popenoe Ranch, near Gainesville, Fla. As Director of the University of Florida’s Center for Tropical Agriculture, Popenoe has studied agricultural production throughout the world. Of all the animals he has observed, water buffalo intrigue him the most. He has devoted much energy to seeking markets and developing marketing approaches to water buffalo meat.

He has shipped breeding stock throughout the United States and to Central America and the Caribbean.He has attended several meetings of the Water Buffalo Congress as the American Water Buffalo Association’s representative.

He bought four animals in 1975 to use experimentally in the control of aquatic weeds. From this small beginning, his herd has grown to one of the largest in the United States, and his interest has become a passion.

Popenoe sells water buffalo meat. He also has sold water buffalo to people interested in starting herds.
He also raises Charolais cattle which gives him an opportunity to compare their performance to water buffalo.
He was chairman of the National Research Council that produced the book “The Water Buffalo: New Prospects for an Underutilized Animal” in 1981. In 1985, he received the Science Pioneer Prize from the Egyptian Veterinary Association for Buffalo Development.

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