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Champion breeder a livestock hall of famer
By Stan Maddux 
Indiana Correspondent

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A highly regarded livestock breeder from Indiana feels like a professional athlete joining his childhood heroes as among the best to ever play the game.
Darrell Anderson is the latest inductee into the prestigious Saddle and Sirloin Portrait Gallery. His portrait will be hung in the historic gallery during the North American International Livestock Exposition, Nov. 13, in Louisville, Ky.
Anderson, 72, of West Lafayette, said being chosen for induction is a dream come true. “I’m very humbled by it,” he said.
Anderson grew up raising pigs on his father’s small farm in Minnesota.
He was an animal sciences student at South Dakota State University when he saw the portraits for the first time when they were showcased at a livestock competition in Chicago.
Anderson said he became acquainted during his career with several of the people whose portraits were in that exhibit.
“They were my mentors. They were my heroes. I would have never dreamt that I would be hung next to them but it’s going to happen, I guess,” he said.
Anderson said he first started breeding pigs as a child at the family farm. After graduating from college, he took a job in public relations with an electric company. He got his breakthrough in livestock three years later when he was hired as an extension educator for Cottonwood County in his home state.
He worked with beef and pork producers in the area along with youth in the 4-H program. In 1980, Anderson said several of the 4-H youth under his tutelage won state and national livestock showing championships.
He later accepted a job at a bank as an agriculture loan officer, then focused on raising sheep and auctioneering for a year, and then became executive secretary for the American Yorkshire Club in West Lafayette. He remained there until retiring about 10-years ago.
The American Yorkshire Club is where Anderson developed and implemented the Tested Best Show at the World Pork Expo in 1988, guiding the practical application of Swine Testing and Genetic Evaluation System and using the Across-Herd Sire Summary to prove the superiority and impact of a significant sire, U Ulf 166.
Ulf made the biggest impact on the Yorkshire breed and is generally considered the most influential boar in the breed’s history.
Some people in the industry feel his greatest accomplishment for the swine industry began in 1994 when he brought in the Yorkshire, Duroc, Hampshire breeds through the formative years of the National Swine Registry and in 1996 when he introduced the Landrace breed to the registry.
“Anderson’s list of contributions to agriculture and the purebred livestock industry is extensive,” said Dr. Ken Culp, II, chairman of the portrait gallery’s nominating committee.
Anderson was also the youngest breeder to serve as president of the National Suffolk Sheep Association and led the association during its greatest period of growth in registrations and memberships.
For the past 25 years, Anderson has owned Solid Rock Llamas, where he breeds and sells the animals. Llamas are popular for their wool, along with showing and use on farms as pets.
He developed a nationally competitive herd of llamas that earned him many championships at state and national shows. Anderson said one of his high-grade llamas once sold for $40,000.
He also created the March Llama Madness (MLM) Show and Sale of Champions in 2013. The MLM Show is now the largest llama show in the nation.
The Sale of Champions this year set records for number of participants, gross sale price, sale averages and individual prices.
Culp described Anderson as more of a behind the scenes person allowing others to gain the exposure during events.
“He shuns the spotlight. He didn’t want to be at the front of every or any event. He encouraged those working for him to gain visibility which helped them grow professionally,” he said.