Sandy Ballou has led an exciting life in various professions, grounded by his respect and belief in agriculture and the benefits of an outdoor lifestyle. Growing up on horseback, Sandy incorporated his love of the outdoors in every step of life. While attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Sandy would leave for Wyoming the day school got out every year to work at the R Lazy S Ranch and returned the day before school began. After college, Sandy returned to The Thacher School, where he had also completed a year-long internship to teach students horsemanship and packing. Following Thacher, he spent the next eight years in Oregon working as a fresh produce shipper, packer, and broker. In 1997, Sandy and his family returned to Grass Valley, California, and bought some of his grandfather's ranch.
Along with his wife Sarah, Sandy started a boarding and training facility. Several years later, Sandy purchased the local saddle shop and created Sierra Saddlery and Farrier Supply. Sandy has received gubernatorial appointments from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Gov. Edmond G. Brown to serve on the 17th District Agricultural Association fair board, where Sandy served for 13 years. Sandy was also a member of Nevada County Farm Bureau, serving on the board of directors for nine years and serving two years as president. Sandy continues to enjoy training horses, running a few cows, and hunting and fishing as time allows. Sandy advocates the outdoor lifestyle believing that animals, dirt, and nature teach the best lessons in life.