Kenneth L. “Ken” Bull, 55, vice president of procurement for Cargill’s U.S. based beef business, has announced his retirement after 33 years with the company. Bull oversees cattle procurement for the company’s 10 beef processing facilities in the U.S. and Canada. He also represents Cargill in Washington, D.C., at Capitol Hill hearings, providing testimony on a variety of regulatory and legislative issues related to the beef and livestock sectors. Bull will remain with the company until the third quarter of 2012 to facilitate a smooth transition to a yet-to-be-named successor.
After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science and a Master of Agriculture degree in animal science, both from Texas A&M University, in 1979 Bull joined Cargill as a senior commodity merchant responsible for grain purchases and risk management for the company’s cattle feedlots, headquartered in Gruver, Texas.
From 1984 to 1986 Bull was a livestock futures manager at Cargill Investor Services in Chicago. In 1986, he was promoted to director of beef market research for Excel Corporation’s (now Cargill Meat Solutions) beef business headquartered in Wichita, Kan. He was promoted to his current position in 1990, also located in Wichita.
During his early years heading cattle procurement, Bull was appointed to a taskforce on concentration in agriculture by then U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Dan Glickman. Issues he has testified on at the state and federal levels include packer ownership, captive supplies, mandatory price reporting, country of origin labeling, Mad Cow Disease (BSE) and international meat trade. Bull routinely works with trade groups such as the American Meat Institute, National Cattleman’s Beef Association, National Meat Association, Chicago Mercantile Exchange and various state cattle groups.
“Ken is well known and respected throughout the beef business and he has done an outstanding job educating various audiences about our business, as well as being a voice of reason in the defense of free enterprise and open markets,” said John Keating, president of Wichita-based Cargill Beef. “His passion for the North American beef business has made him a champion for beef production and his legacy will benefit the industry, its customers, and consumers, for years to come. Ken will be missed.”
Bull and his wife Robin will reside in Texas.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 142,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit Cargill.comand its news center.