Imperial Stock Ranch, a beef and wool producer in Maupin, Oregon, became the inspiration behind improvements in the wool industry around the world. This came about when a Central Oregon tourist visited the ranch for a tour, and got a rude awakening about his own company in the process.
Maupin Tourist Finds Inspiration on the Ranch
Back in 2007, Yvon Chouinard was visiting the Deschutes River in Central Oregon for a fishing trip. While waiting at the lodge, he found a magazine article about a local stock ranch that produced wool. Chouinard, being the founder of Patagonia Outdoor Gear and Clothing, used many wool suppliers for his company. He decided to take a tour.
While there, he not only saw a successful livestock operation, but a process he didn’t recognize. It was sustainable. He learned everything he could from the Carvers and their practices. Then he worked to develop his own wool supply chain with farmers around the world, including Argentina.
PETA Releases Videos of Sheep Abuse on Foreign Farms
In 2015 though, PETA released videos of farmers in Patagonia’s supply chain abusing sheep. The animals were kept in pens that were too small and cramped, and some of them were even skinned alive. When Chouinard saw the video, he shut down wool production immediately. These were exactly the kind of processes he was trying to prevent by using his own supply chain.
Imperial Stock Ranch becomes Top Example and Producer
Soon after, Chouinard met with Temple Grandin, a livestock welfare consultant, and they began the process of developing more stringent standards for the wool supply industry. Imperial Stock Ranch was the first to meet those guidelines and became the example for wool producers around the world. After a thorough investigation of their holistic approach, the Carvers and Chouinard went into business together. This allows Chouinard to produce clothes that are made of sustainable, American-Made materials.
Their commitment to sustainability creates a safe, comforting environment for the livestock on Imperial Stock Ranch, and it also fulfills a promise to the customers of Patagonia Outdoor Gear and Clothing. Now, because of Imperial, wool producers around the world are held to a higher standard and people can buy clothes from a trusted, local source right here in Maupin, Oregon.