2012 Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery Inductee Named

Officials of the Kentucky State Fair Board announced that Dr. Gary L. Minish is the 2012 Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery inductee. The gallery serves as the livestock industry’s hall of fame. For those involved in animal agriculture, this selection is one of the highest honors one can receive. It is bestowed by the Saddle and Sirloin award committee based on service to and impact on the industry.

r. Gary L. Minish is the 2012 Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery inducteeDr. Minish began his teaching career in 1962 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech), where he was ultimately named Department Head of Animal and Poultry Sciences in 1994. Over his 40 years of service he has been a teacher, intercollegiate livestock judging team coach, student mentor, and extension specialist.  He served as Dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences at Southern Illinois University from 2004 until his retirement in 2010. He is the recipient of numerous agriculture education and industry awards and widely recognized for his improvements to academic programs for animal science and agriculture. Today, Dr. Minish and his wife Roberta live in Plano, Texas.

During his career, Dr. Minish contributed significantly to the livestock industry in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to higher education at every level. Early in his career he recognized the need for leaner, more heavily muscled and faster growing cattle. He set out to educate the industry on the benefits of changing from the smaller, fatter cattle of the 1950s and 1960s.  He wrote and spoke extensively on the subject, including co-authoring a text book about beef production and management that supports the type change.

Because of his expertise and passion, he became one of the most sought after beef cattle show judges in the 1970s and 1980s. He officiated at national shows for 10 breeds of cattle in over 30 states and in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, England, Scotland, and Uruguay. He judged at nearly every leading American show including the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago, the National Western in Denver and the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville.

In order to be considered for the Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery, a leader must be nominated by his or her peers. Dr. Minish’s nomination was supported by more than 108 endorsements. These include letters from prominent Saddle & Sirloin Portrait awardees, a United State Senator, university presidents and chancellors, college deans, breed association executives, and other livestock industry leaders from throughout the United States and from six foreign countries. The portrait presentation will take place in November at the 2012 North American International Livestock Exposition, held annually at the Kentucky Exposition Center.

The Saddle & Sirloin Portrait Gallery is curated by the Kentucky State Fair Board and is displayed throughout the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville. The collection includes nearly 350 oil paintings and dates back to the early 1900’s.