The BEEF 50 make for an interesting glimpse into the history, drive and resourcefulness of those who built, and are engaged in, this vital beef industry.
Learn more about the history of BEEF magazine in this 50-year timeline that highlights industry happenings . You can read all of our 50th anniversary coverage here.
The BEEF 50 project was an involved process that began in early 2013. The idea was — on the occasion of the start of BEEF magazine’s 50th year of publication — to formally recognize 50 industry leaders who had been instrumental in the direction and development of the U.S. beef industry.<br><br>
We asked <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/nominate-your-pick-beef-50 ">readers to submit profiles</a> of their industry heroes and mentors. We passed those nominations to an independent panel of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/business/beef-honors-50-top-industry-leaders#sli... judges</a>, all longtime contributors to the U.S. beef industry and representative of all production sectors. Thank you, judges!<br><br>
The final 50 make for an interesting glimpse into the history, drive and resourcefulness of those who built, and are engaged in, this vital industry.
One judge commented on the difficulty of culling the list to just 50 final names, but summed it up this way: “Imagine starting a company with these 50 honorees. Failure would certainly not be an option and I’m confident that company would result in positive change for every segment of our industry, with consumers being the ultimate beneficiary.”<br><br>
With that said, here are the BEEF 50!
2. W.E. “Bill” Beal
W.E. “Bill” Beal is a Michigan native who earned degrees from Michigan State University, the University of Wyoming and Cornell University before joining Virginia Tech in 1979, where he has contributed greatly to research in improving <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_understanding_females">cattle ’s reproductive efficiency</a>. Most of Beal’s work has centered on methods for controlling estrus and ovulation in cattle, as well as using ultrasound as a tool to monitor reproductive function, early pregnancy diagnosis and fetal sexing.<br><br>
Cattle producers across the world can thank this emeritus professor and renowned reproductive physiologist for his work in <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/cattle-genetics-0">bovine reproduction</a>. His diligence in investigating methods for controlling estrus and ovulation in cattle provided the industry with higher conception rates and tighter estrus synchronization in their herds. .<br><br>
While receiving his advanced degrees, Beal studied the effects of gonadatropin releasing hormone (GnRH), as well as induced parturition in cattle. He subsequently helped develop estrus synchronization programs for cattle using various progesterone and GnRH sources. Today, many cattle producers use a combination of GnRH, prostaglandin F2-alpha CIDR or MGA in their breeding programs to closely synchronize a group of cattle in heat for better efficiency of time during breeding season.<br><br>
Beal was instrumental in the use of ultrasound to evaluate ovarian function, as well as early pregnancy diagnosis and fetal sexing.
3. Minnie Lou Bradley
Minnie Lou Bradley of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beeftv/stewards/env-steward-bradley3 ">Bradley 3 Angus Ranch</a>, Childress, TX, has always been a trailblazer. She made history the day she became the first woman awarded high individual in beef cattle at the American Royal judging contest in Kansas City and, later, overall high points individual at the International in Chicago.<br><bR>
In the 1960s, she and husband Bill began performance-testing bulls. They were charter members of the Performance Registry International and the Angus Herd Improvement Records programs. Since then, Bradley has built one of the most comprehensive performance-driven programs in the U.S., and has spent a lifetime working to create profitable bulls for commercial producers and quality end products for consumers.<br><br>
In 1986, the family pioneered branded-beef and natural-beef marketing programs that became the nationally known <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/business/beef_lessons_hard_learned">B3R Country Meats</a>. The folks at Bradley 3 Ranch — Minnie Lou, her daughter, Mary Lou Bradley-Henderson, and son-in-law, James Henderson — have been pioneers in the industry. They were early to use ultrasound for carcass measures, DNA for parentage and DNA for 50K testing, and implemented one of the earliest value-based marketing systems for their customers. <br><br>
In 2002, Bradley was honored with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Ladd Hitch Award and the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/bif-recognizes-best-best-cattle-breeders"... Improvement Federation’s Pioneer Award</a>. In 2006, she was inducted into the Cowgirl Hall of Fame.
Minnie Lou Bradley (left) is pictured with son-in-law James Henderson and daughter Mary Lou Bradley-Henderson
4. J. Burton Eller
J. Burton Eller grew up on a general livestock farm in southwest Virginia. Originally an engineering major at Virginia Tech, he changed to <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beef-quality/addressing-emotion-animal-welfare">... husbandry</a> and followed it up with a master’s degree in animal science, specializing in physiology.<br><br>
He worked as executive secretary of the Virginia Hereford Association upon graduation, later moving to the American National Cattlemen’s Association, where he eventually rose to become senior vice president of the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/business/1201-maintaining-gains-key">National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA)</a> in Washington, D.C, in 1981. He played a leading role in working with Congress to pass the Beef Promotion and Research Act of 1985, which set up the national beef checkoff. He was later promoted to executive vice president of NCA in Denver, where he served from 1991 to 1996.<br><br>
Eller was instrumental in the merger of the cattle and beef industry organizations that became the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA), literally organizing himself out of a job. He went on to serve within government in the Farm Service Agency, and as deputy under secretary of agriculture with USDA, before returning to NCBA from 2008 to 2011 as <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/0801-eller-head-association">senior vice president in Washington</a>.<br><br>
He and wife Laurie reside in Gaithersburg, MD, and Eller still runs cattle on the home farm that has been in the family since 1868. In addition, he heads up Burton Eller Associates, a private consulting firm that specializes in food and agriculture advocacy and government affairs <a href="http://www.burtonellerassociates.com"> (www.burtonellerassociates.com )</a>.
5. Charles E. Murphey
Charles E. Murphey was considered for more than two decades to be the nation’s authority on livestock and meat standards and specifications.<br><br>
Murphey, who died in 1988, served for 35 years as a livestock and meat marketing specialist for USDA. He observed in the 1940s that livestock, carcasses and meat were too fat. Following a series of investigations, Murphey developed the well-known <a href="http://beefextension.com/research_reports/1984rr/84-11.pdf"> “Murphey Equation,”</a> which led to the establishment of the USDA Beef Yield Grades in 1965.<br><br>
More than 20 million beef carcasses from fed cattle are yield-graded each year with application of the same Murphey Equation he devised almost 50 years ago. Murphey’s insistence regarding the importance of beef cutability to cattle producers, meat packers, retailers and consumers is said to have resulted in the savings of billions of dollars to the industry.<br><br>Born in Attica, KS, Murphey opened and closed his career in meats research at Texas A&M University, retiring in 1983.
6. Charles G. Scruggs
Charles G. Scruggs’ contribution as a principal player in the eradication of the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_screwworm_update">screwworm</a> is estimated to have saved U.S. producers $10 billion.<br><br>
As founder and first president of the Southwest Animal Health Research Foundation, a coalition of 20 Southwest livestock groups, Scruggs worked to organize producers and raise money to build a facility for production of sterile female flies for release in the wild. From 1961-64, Scruggs and his volunteers raised $6 million from 300,000 producers for construction of the Mission, TX, plant where billions of sterilized flies were raised for release from airplanes.<br><br>
In 1969, the U.S. was declared “screwworm-free,” followed by Mexico in 1982. Thanks to Scruggs’ efforts, all of North America is essentially free of screwworms today.<br><br>
Born on a farm near McGregor, TX, he served in the infantry in Europe during World War II, and held the rank of lieutenant colonel. In 1947, he joined the staff of Progressive Farmer magazine, where he went on to become editor, then editor-in-chief. In 1984, he co-founded Southern Living magazine and was promoted again to editorial chairman for Southern Progress Corp. Scruggs, of Austin, TX, was a producer with operations in Texas, Kansas and Alabama, and a former chairman of the National Brucellosis Committee. He passed away July 24, 2001.
7. Charles E. “Charlie” Ball
Charles E. “Charlie” Ball trained as an agricultural engineer, but worked for 24 years as an agricultural writer. The Lamar County, TX, native, however, is best-known as a chief architect of the powerful <a href="http://www.tcfa.org">Texas Cattle Feeders Association</a> (TCFA).<br><br>
Until his retirement in December 1988, Ball served for 16 years as TCFA’s executive vice president, with each of his 16 years being successively record years in activities, services and income for TCFA. During his tenure, the Texas-Oklahoma-New Mexico cattle feeding area grew from a handful of feedyards to the largest cattle feeding region in the world, producing more than 5 million fed cattle annually.
Ball’s contributions reached beyond TCFA’s borders, however. He was chief author of the Beef Research and Information Act that was signed into law in 1976 by President Gerald Ford. The program set up a uniform collection program to raise $30 million-$40 million annually for beef research and market development, but failed in referendum the following year. That measure, however, set the stage for an eventual successful national checkoff effort in 1988. <br><br>
Upon retiring from TCFA in 1988 until his <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/Charlie_Ball">death in 2006,</a> Ball continued to serve the industry as an association consultant, helping other agricultural organizations thrive and succeed through strategic planning and leadership training.
8. J. David “Dave” Nichols
J. David “Dave” Nichols has helped guide a 240-acre family farm in Adair County, IA, into a national full-service genetic provider in five states by using <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/business/0101-efficiency-domestic-export">tough standards</a>, science-based technology and aggressive marketing. <br><br>
In 1953, Merrill and Gladys Nichols and their son Dave, 13 at the time, started a purebred Angus herd on which they collected birth weight, feedlot rate of gain and yearling weight on every animal. Purebred Simmentals and specialized Nichols composite lines were systematically added, and the operation was formalized in 1980 as <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_nichols_onesource_genetics">Nichols Farms Ltd.</a> Dave’s brother Lee passed away in 1982, and his father, Merrill, in 1987. <br><br>
As the beef business evolved toward value-based grid <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/business/wes-ishmael/growing-amid-contraction-02... in the 1990s</a>, Nichols Farms’ 50-year history of feeding cattle served the family well, as they understood that genetic selections must include feedlot gain, feed efficiency and carcass merit in their breeding program. In addition, the Nicholses believed research and development were essential, and participated in research projects with six land-grant universities and the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center. <br><br>
Nichols Farms sponsored and managed the first Genetic Source Verified Auction in 1996, which took producers’ Nichols-sired calves and individually sorted them into predictable outcome groups. Later, they added Nichols Genetic Source Bred Heifers, and Nichols Alliance Feedlots as other programs designed to add value to customers’ investments. <br><br>
In 1998, Nichols Farms sold its first franchise in North Carolina, the first to adopt this business strategy in beef seedstock production and marketing, and extend Nichols Farms genetics inputs and value-added programs to a multitude of commercial beef producers. Today, Nichols Farms has franchises in North Carolina, Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri. <a href="http://www.nicholsfarms.biz">Nichols Farms</a> genetic inputs extend well beyond the U.S., the company having exported live cattle, embryos, and semen to 30 countries.
9. David E. Wood
David E. Wood serves as chairman of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/americancowman/breed-buzz/hereford_study_heteros... Ranch Beef Co.</a>, a Coalinga, CA, firm that pioneered work in value-added branded beef, vertical integration and all-natural processing. Today a sizeable producer in his own right with cow-calf, feeding and farming enterprises in multiple states, Wood got his start in the cattle business at 14 years old, when he borrowed money to buy his first 20 cows. <br><br>
He earned a degree in animal science from Cal Poly in 1970, and joined Harris Feeding Co. as a pen rider, moving up to manager in 1978, and head of beef operations in 1989. With Wood’s vision, Harris Feeding Co. launched a value-based beef production and marketing program called Partnership for Quality. It was aimed at cow-calf producers desiring to improve genetic standards in their herds. The program also offers producers vaccination, weaning, seasonality and quality-based carcass premiums. <br><br>
Wood was also the first meat packer to initiate mandatory feeding of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_vitamin_value">vitamin E</a>, and negotiated with retailers to pay for the value-added practice. <br><br>
As chairman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Wood preserved the integrity of the beef checkoff while helping build an organization that could speak with one voice and designated increasing beef demand as its goal. In addition, he’s served as president and chairman of the Western States Meat Packers Association, president of CattleFax, and on several executive committee assignments with the U.S. Meat Export Federation and other organizations.
10. Dell King
Dell King has been a central cog in the work to improve the quality and health of Southeastern feeder cattle over the past 50 years. A graduate of the University of Tennessee, King began his career as a packer buyer of fed cattle. In 1968, he founded <a href="http://www.kinglivestock.com/about_us.htm">King Livestock Co. in Hopkinsville, KY</a>. <br><br>
King is a major cattle buyer in the southeastern U.S., specializing in high-quality feeder cattle (genetics and health), and is actively involved in all aspects of cattle procurement and management of the company, which has developed into a family operation with his son, Chuck, and wife, Nancy, as business partners. Later, he formed King Livestock Express in order to allow King Livestock to guarantee that feeder cattle were shipped in a timely manner, with a minimum amount of stress.<br><bR>
Active in his county, state and national beef cattle organizations, King was an early promoter of preconditioning and Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) before they were commonly accepted in the U.S. beef industry. He was instrumental in starting the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/americancowman/money-and-marketing/kentucky_cph4... Certified Preconditioned for Health</a> (KY CPH-45) feeder-calf health and marketing program. <br><br>
King also helped develop the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beefstockertrends/0419-cattle-transport-trainign... Master Cattle Transporter Guide</a> by working in the development group, meeting with other cattle trucking companies, appearing in transportation videos to teach proper loading techniques, and also developed a loading card for the truck drivers to use in distributing cattle properly onto the cattle trailers.
11. Dell Allen
Dell Allen is widely recognized as a pioneer in developing many <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_promise_delivery">food safety protocols</a> in use domestically and internationally to improve meat product safety and quality. He is regarded as a specialist in the regulatory implementation of food safety hazard analysis critical control point (HACCP) plans in meat plants, beef carcass grading, beef carcass yields, and carcass and cut pricing. <br><br>
A Kansas State University (KSU) animal sciences faculty member from 1966 to 1988, Allen directed the meat laboratory and taught a wide variety of courses in meats and animal production. In addition to coaching two national champion teams in meat judging, his research focused on beef carcass composition and beef quality. <br><br>
In 1977-78, he was contracted by the General Accounting Office to conduct a nationwide survey on the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_close_yet_farcarcasses">accuracy and uniformity of the application of USDA beef grades</a> by the Agricultural Marketing Service, which led to his pioneering work in developing the prototype vision grading instrument that is now in wide use. He took a leave of absence from KSU in 1980 and worked for the Chicago Mercantile Exchange Law and Compliance Division, leading the effort to rewrite the live cattle contract’s delivery mechanism. <br><br>
Allen joined Excel Corp. (later to become Cargill Meat Solutions) in 1988 as vice president of technical services and food safety. He handled training, quality assurance, food safety and regulatory affairs, and was responsible for implementation, maintenance and functioning of the company’s HACCP and sanitation standard operating procedures. <br><br>
He retired in 2004 and lives with his wife, Joyce, in Derby, KS.
12. Don Good
Don Good was a key figure for 40 years in the advancement of the livestock industry and the animal sciences. As head of Kansas State University’s (KSU) Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, the Van Wert County, OH, native was one of the <a href="http://butleragvocates.wordpress.com/2012/02/15/dr-don-good-my-hero/">co... ’s preeminent livestock judges</a>. His selection in 1969 of an Angus x Charolais steer for the grand championship of the International Steer Show in Chicago was a landmark event in the acceptance of crossbreeding. <br><br>
Good was a talented athlete when he entered Ohio State University. His college career was interrupted by military service in World War II, however. Upon graduation after the war, he joined the KSU faculty in 1947, and became head of what was then KSU’s Department of Animal Husbandry in 1966. At that time, the department consisted of 18 faculty, inadequate research funding and outlying research facilities recently destroyed by a tornado. During his tenure, Good built the program into one of the country’s foremost. <br><br>
His influence, however, reached far beyond the borders of Kansas, and he is regarded as a leader in helping to bring livestock and meat production into the modern era. The KSU professor emeritus passed away in 2012.
13. Eugene Ritchey
Eugene Ritchey, founder of Ritchey Mfg. Co. of Brighton, CO, is a glowing testimonial to the old adage the simpler the invention, the greater the impact.<br><br>
Ritchey, who began as a dairyman in Fort Lupton, CO, is the originator of the flexible ear tag. Until Ritchey’s development of the <a href="http://www.ritcheytags.com">flexible , one-piece ear tag</a> in 1964, there was not a tag on the market that stayed in the ear for the life of the animal, that could be read without difficulty. <br><br>
Ritchey’s “arrowhead” tag was an easy and economical means of individual animal identification that made possible the maintenance of accurate production and breeding records, and paved the way for subsequent improvements in genetics and feed efficiency. It also contributed to USDA’s program for carcass information in the packing plant. <br><br>
Ritchey’s motto: “Give me a minute, I can make it better,” has sparked more than four decades of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/blog/industry-innovation-one-thing-adoption-anot... and refinement</a> in livestock ID. Now retired, the Ritchey family carries on the same innovative attitude. The company is still a family-owned and operated business, with sons Grant and Craig actively involved.
14. Frank H. Baker
Frank H. Baker, an Oklahoma native, had the inspiration to form the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) and did it <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_continuing_commitment">solely on his leadership ability</a>, for there were no funds or authority for such a project in 1968. <br><Br>
BIF is an internationally recognized organization serving as a means for breeders, researchers and Extension specialists to implement guidelines for evaluating, reporting and utilizing performance data on beef cattle. <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/bif-recognizes-best-best-cattle-breeders"... ’s annual meeting</a> is a premier industry event that attracts several hundred attendees who learn and discuss the latest in <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_industrys_innovators">performance evaluation</a>. Baker served as secretary of the organization until 1974, but continued to serve his brainchild organization until his death in 1993. <br><Br>
Baker was awarded a Purple Heart as a paratrooper in Europe during World War II, and enjoyed a distinguished career as an animal science educator at Kansas State University, the University of Kentucky, Oklahoma State University, the University of Nebraska and with USDA. He headed up many international agricultural assignments, and served as the president of the American Society of Animal Science and president of the Council on Agricultural Science and Technology. In 1981, Baker became director of U.S. programs at Winrock International at Morrilton, AR, and later a senior associate.
15. Gary Smith
<a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_thinking_global">Gary Smith</a> is a distinguished professor emeritus of the Department of Animal Science at Colorado State University (CSU), where he occupied the Monfort Endowed Chair in Meat Science from 1990 until his retirement in 2010. Smith is an accomplished researcher, a gifted teacher and legendary mentor to students, professors and technical specialists throughout the meat industry. An internationally established meat scientist, he is considered one of the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/animal-id-nais/1201-beef-system-traceability">world ’s top meat safety experts</a>. <br><Br>
Prior to his service at CSU, Smith served as professor (1969-1982) and head (1982-1990) of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University, and remains an adjunct member of the graduate faculty. Smith’s work in the composition, quality, safety, packaging and retailing of red meat earned him scores of awards. They include the Distinguished Research Award and the Distinguished Teaching Award from both the American Society of Animal Science and the American Meat Science Association. <br><br>
He has authored more than 1,000 articles in scientific journals, conference proceedings, technical reports and industry magazines. He was chairman of the National Academy of Sciences committee that wrote “<a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beef-quality/0613-beef-irradiations-time">Irradi... of Meat and Meat Products,” and a member of the committee that wrote “Designing Foods.” He was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame in 2009.
16. Fred H. Johnson
Fred H. Johnson, <a href="http://www.summitcrest.com">Summitcrest Performance Angus</a>, Summitville, OH, was involved in advancing cattle breeding and marketing for more than 70 years. Born in Clearfield, PA, in 1916, he purchased his first farm in 1938, and bought his first Angus cattle in 1949. <br><br>
Summitcrest would eventually expand to three farms in Ohio, Nebraska and Iowa, totaling 17,000 acres, 1,500 Angus cows and 1,200 commercial animals. Summitcrest genetics are found in multiple regions, including Canada, Australia, South America, Scotland, South Africa and New Zealand. <br><br>
An advocate of performance testing and consumer-based production, Johnson developed Summitcrest into the world’s largest private database of sire/dam-identified carcass data in the world, which is open to buyers of Summitcrest genetics. <br><br>
Johnson served in high positions on a number of industry organizations, including the first Beef Promotion and Research Board. He was among the visionaries who helped conceive <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/business/steve-kay/beef-has-raised-quality-cattl... Angus Beef<sup>®</sup></a>, and served as the program’s first chairman of the board from 1978-84. <br><br>
A combat infantryman with the U.S. Army’s 88th Division in Italy during World War II, Johnson was seriously wounded and confined to a military hospital for 11 months. He was later awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star. He passed away in 2007 at the age of 91.
17. George E. Seidel Jr.
Colorado State University (CSU) professor George E. Seidel Jr. is a reproductive physiologist who has had a great impact on beef cattle <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/sex_ratio_riddle">reproductive biology and management practices</a>. Owner and operator of a 300-cow seedstock Angus ranch near Fort Collins, Seidel’s guiding principle is a desire to keep these reproductive practices cost-effective and practical for the everyday cattle producer. <br><br>
In the late 1960s, the U.S. beef industry was experiencing dramatic changes brought on by a quest to improve growth, carcass merit and reproductive output in cattle. Importing live animals into the U.S., however, was complicated by strict regulations to combat potential spread of disease. Frozen semen and embryo transfer (ET) represented major steps forward in this regard. <br><br>
Seidel, who joined CSU in 1971, was instrumental in developing a practical approach to superovulating oocytes, and the recovery and transfer of embryos. This non-surgical ET process is used widely today throughout the world to multiply beef and dairy cattle identified to have high genetic merit. <br><br>
Seidel then concentrated on splitting embryos to produce identical twins; replacing the genetic material in embryos with DNA from other animals (cloning); and other approaches to produce superior livestock. This work led to procedures for in vitro fertilization and embryo maturation, processes widely used today in both human and animal applications. <br><br>
Seidel’s most recent research emphasis is to develop and expand on work done by other scientists to sort sperm cells based on whether they <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_splitting_heirs">contain X or Y chromosomes</a>, and to develop this technique into cost-effective applications for sexing semen. Sexed semen is now being used heavily to produce beef and dairy heifers, as well as bulls of high genetic merit, without the expenses associated with the less-desired gender for that specific market.
18. Jackie Moore
“The way I see it, the big guys are taken care of. We’re working to keep the little guys in business,” says <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_man_vision ">Jackie Moore of Joplin Regional Stockyards</a> (JRS) in Carthage, MO. And, look after the small commercial cow-calf operations typical in this corner of Missouri near its juncture with Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, JRS has. <br><BR>
Moore and JRS are credited as being most responsible for the turnaround in the reputation of Missouri calves. He’s considered an <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/blog/calves-will-be-fewer-and-more-expensive">in... in the livestock business</a>, with an energy, enthusiasm and knowledge that keeps him on the cutting edge of change in the U.S. beef industry. <br><BR>
Moore began by promoting basic animal health programs among his customers. Eventually, he convinced more of them that calf vaccination while still on the cow would provide healthier calves and more money at sale time. From there, the JRS education effort moved to documented weaning, health and management programs. Soon, the calves were attracting buyers that previously had shied away from buying in the area. Eventually, corporate feedyards and feeding entities looking for cattle that hit specialty-market targets became the biggest players at JRS value-added sales. <br><BR>
JRS began <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/some-tips-value-added-health">valu... calf sales</a> in 1997, which evolved into a host of program options for sellers, everything from health programs and optional feeding programs to weaning and individual ID. <br><BR>
In 2001, JRS added $500,000 in automated commingling facilities, which allowed automated sorting of small groups of cattle into load lots, a valuable feature for the smaller herds that make up the majority of JRS clientele. And JRS was on the leading edge of electronic ID in the auction sector, educating customers on the technology and its market potential, and instituting its first radio-frequency-ID calf sale in 2004.
In 2008, JRS instituted video sales to give larger cow-calf and backgrounding clients with load lots another marketing option. More than a half-million head of cattle have thus far been sold from several states.
19. Harlan Ritchie
“Visionary” is a term often attached to Harlan Ritchie, a beef cattle Extension giant and distinguished professor of animal science at Michigan State University (MSU).
Born in northeast Iowa in 1935, Ritchie served as a beef cattle Extension specialist from 1974 until his retirement in 2005. He was program leader for MSU Animal Science-Extension from 1975-1995. He is best-known for his life’s work in beef cattle improvement programs, efficiency of beef production, beef cattle dystocia, retained ownership and enhanced carcass quality. <br><br>
Ritchie is known for his unique ability to <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/Cattle_Outlook">present complex research material</a> in a fashion any producer or academic could understand and appreciate. His accomplishments in changing cattle type, improving beef cattle efficiency and addressing consumer concerns have made him a sought-after speaker across the U.S. and internationally. <br><br>
He continues to provide <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_theres_time">thought-provoking ideas</a> to the beef industry, as well as chronicling the past. His MSU Web page, <a href="http://www.msu.edu/~ritchieh">Harlan Ritchie’s Beef Review</a> is an archive of past and future industry trends.
Ritchie continues to be a popular teacher, respected researcher and prolific writer. He has participated in scores of animal science programs domestically and internationally, his work has won numerous awards, and his commitment to remain current in all aspects of beef cattle production has earned him industry-wide respect.
20. Henry Gardiner
Henry Gardiner has a simple vision for the beef industry — to keep beef the “center of the plate” for consumers by continuing to improve production from pasture to plate. A third-generation operator of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/0826-southern-carcass-improvement-... Angus Ranch</a> in Ashland, KS, Gardiner is a visionary in the use of genetic information and technologies in his herd, using artificial insemination (AI), embryo transfer (ET) and ultrasound to improve his herd. <br><BR>
He bought his first Angus female in 1947 at age 16. While attending Kansas State University in the 1950s, he learned about AI and came to believe the only way to make genetic improvements in beef cattle was through the use of technology and sound science. <br><BR>
Since 1964, Gardiner Angus Ranch has been a total AI and ET operation, and has used EPDs to make <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_picking_michael_jordans">genetic selections</a> since the inception of the technology. The operation has kept extensive records on reproductive performance, gain and carcass data since 1970. <br><BR>
After the American Angus Association (AAA) initiated its Sire Evaluation Report in 1974, Gardiner only used progeny-proven Angus sires, elevating his herd to its elite status. His vision and determination helped improve Angus cattle genetics across the board. <br><BR>
His operation was the first to adopt a large-scale carcass data collection program. Gardiner is a founding member of U.S. Premium Beef, and he has also been a <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/retail/chefs-study-beef-production-pasture-plate... leader in AAA</a> and the Beef Improvement Federation. Henry is pictured here with his wife Nan.
21. James D. Bennett
James D. Bennett was raised on <a href="http://www.knollcrestfarm.com">Knoll Crest Farm</a>, a 290-acre tobacco and commercial farm established in 1929 by his parents in Red House, VA. In 1944, James and his father, Paul, purchased their first registered polled Hereford heifer. When his father suffered health problems, James left college to manage the farm in 1950, marrying his wife, Barbara, in 1957. Together they raised five children. <br><br>
A renowned cattle breeder, Bennett and his family developed Knoll Crest Farm into a nationally prominent source of Hereford, Angus and Gelbvieh genetics. In 1981, Knoll Crest brought the first purebred Gelbvieh cattle to Virginia, and introduced Angus to the farm in 1990. The three breeds have provided the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_service_service_service">foundation for success</a> at Knoll Crest Farm ever since. <br><br>
Serving on many industry boards, associations and civic groups, Bennett has been instrumental in improving cattle in Virginia and beyond, as well as being a prime mover in the development of the Balancer composite. This visionary leader and innovator with a passion for agriculture also helped develop Virginia’s bull test program, as well as being instrumental in the success of the Virginia Premium Assured Heifer Program. <br><br>
He served as president of the American Polled Hereford Association and the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF). He was recognized as Virginia Cattleman of the Year and Progressive Farmer Man of the Year in Virginia Agriculture. He was twice honored as BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year.
22. Ralph Jarold “Jerry” Lipsey
Ralph Jarold “Jerry” Lipsey has been a national leader in improving the <a href="http://www.bifconference.com/bif2011/award_winners/PioneerJerryLipsey.ht... merit of beef cattle</a> for the past 30 years. Born and raised on a small cattle and grain farm in Charlotte, MI, Lipsey:<ul><li>
Started the American Simmental Carcass Merit program, North America’s largest and oldest program that tests young sires and measures the carcass traits of their offspring.
</li><li>Was among the leaders involved with the national tenderness evaluation program.
</li><li>Led the establishment of the American Simmental Association (ASA) <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/genetics/multibreed_genetic_evaluation">multibreed genetic database</a>, the world’s largest database.
</li><li>Was instrumental in starting the Progress Through Performance (PTP) effort to bring sound cattle-breeding principles to the show ring.
</li><li>Helped build ASA into one of the largest breed organizations in the U.S., behind Angus and Hereford. </li></ul>
A high-energy industry workhorse, Lipsey obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in meat science from Kansas State University. He started his career in 1978 as director of junior activities for the American Angus Association. In 1982, he began a 15-year tenure as a University of Missouri meat science professor. In 1996, he accepted a position as ASA’s executive vice president. He retired from ASA in 2013.
23. James McGrann
James McGrann’s accomplishments in research and Extension as a professor and Extension economist at Texas A&M University (TAMU) led to significant developments and improvements in <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_knowing_growing_2">management information systems</a>, both nationally and internationally. He is generally regarded as the “godfather of standardized performance analysis [SPA],” which helps ranch managers analyze production and financial data by comparing it to benchmark data in a national database. <br><br>
He earned a B.S. in 1964 and a master’s degree in 1968 at Washington State University, and a doctorate in agricultural economics from TAMU in 1973. Prior to joining the TAMU staff in 1979, he served with the Peace Corps in Panama, technical assistant programs in Argentina and Uruguay, and the farm management faculty at Iowa State University. McGrann also has professional experience in 21 different beef-producing countries, including eight years in South America. <br><br>
McGrann has fashioned a career in which he has been extremely influential in developing innovative educational programs focused on <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/seedstock/reduce-cow-costs-increase-revenue">pro... and marketing</a> for the beef industry. He’s a pioneer in developing decision aids and analytical tools for farmers and ranchers. <br><br>
His creation of SPA software, which organizes data into meaningful management indicators, was the first major attempt to develop a standardized production and financial analysis for the beef industry. Its application and use have become widespread in standardizing accounting procedures for farms and ranches. <br><br>
McGrann also was one of the original members of the national Farm Financial Standards Task Force, which developed a set of national financial reporting and analysis guidelines for agricultural producers. He retired from TAMU in 2003, becoming vice president of the International Farm Management Association, a private ranch management and economist consultancy, from which he retired in 2011. He and wife Nadia reside in College Station, TX.
24. Jo Ann Doke Smith
Jo Ann Doke Smith grew up in Alachua County in a pioneer Florida farming and ranching family. She is a fourth-generation Floridian, and has been a champion of agriculture throughout her career. <br><br>
Smith began her working life as an accountant and office manager in the family business, Smith Brothers Farming, Ranching and Construction Companies, in Wacahoota, FL. Not long after, she began to get involved in the larger agricultural community and to take on leadership positions at the local, state and national levels.
In the 1970s, she became a member of the Florida Beef Council, the USDA Animal Technical Advisory Committee on Livestock and Livestock Products, the USDA Foreign Animal Disease Advisory Committee and the USDA Meat Pricing Task Force. From 1970 to 1972, she served as president of the Florida Cattlewomen’s Association. <br><br>
In 1985, Smith became the first female president of the National Cattlemen’s Association. During her tenure, she made countless appearances on behalf of the cattle industry before Congress and on national television. She also traveled to Japan and China on successful trade missions to open up Asian markets to U.S. beef imports. <br><br>
Smith is probably best-known as the founding chairwoman of the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board. In this position she spearheaded and developed the highly successful <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beef-demand/beef-demand-and-checkoff-fewer-dolla... checkoff program</a>. She served as USDA’s assistant secretary for marketing and inspection services from 1989 to 1993, setting policy direction and managing multiple agencies under the jurisdiction of the USDA. <br><br>
Smith’s leadership in the agriculture industry has earned her many <a href="http://floridaaghalloffame.org/2005/11/jo-ann-doke-smith/">awards and honors</a>. She lives in Wacahoota.
25. John Brethour
John Brethour served the beef cattle industry as a scientist at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center at Fort Hays from 1957 until his retirement in 2005. The professor emeritus and beef cattle scientist was best-known for his work perfecting ultrasound methods, particularly the application of the technology to the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_close_personal">precision feeding of beef</a> cattle. <br><br>
Brethour also developed computer processing algorithms to select genetic stock and optimize days on feed for maximum carcass quality. He proved his method worked when, in 1999, he used ultrasound to select and manage six steers that placed first in the Denver Stock Show carcass contest. Then, in 2003, he won the Best of the Breeds contest using ultrasound to select the participating cattle. <br><br>
The potential economic benefits from his ultrasound work are massive. Several studies have found that precision feeding increases feedlot profits $15-$20/head, while improving beef quality. <br><br>
Other areas of his research include ruminant nutrition, feed evaluation, feed storage and processing, new systems design, animal behavior, growth promotion, reproduction, and cowherd management. <br><br>
<a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_john_brethour_passes">He passed away May 29, 2007</a>.
26. John Crouch
John Crouch grew up on a registered Angus farm near Jonesborough, TN, and managed purebred and commercial cattle following his completion of an animal husbandry degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. During his <a href="http://www.angus.org/Pub/Newsroom/Releases/09_HAF_Crouch.html">34-year career</a> within the American Angus Association (AAA), he was at the forefront of breed improvement programs in the beef industry.
<br><br>Crouch served AAA in various capacities ranging from regional manager in the Southeast, a position he assumed in 1974, to director of performance programs in 1981, and <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/americancowman/breed-buzz/0225-angus-assoc-ceo-c... CEO in 2002</a>. In 2003, he organized a strategic planning session for the AAA board to assess the association’s strengths and weaknesses, as well as its role in the industry. Ultimately, the board narrowed the organization’s focus to five core strategies: achieve Angus excellence through information, increase beef demand with Angus equity, identify and implement relevant technologies, optimize resources, and create opportunities. <br><br>
During his leadership, the AAA restructured and modernized, the Angus Foundation’s role was prioritized, and <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/Carcass_Specifications">Certified Angus Beef<sup>®</sup> carcass specifications</a> were redefined. In addition, Crouch helped to:<ul><li>
Develop dollar-value indexes ($values) for total beef value ($B), weaned calf value ($W) and grid value ($G).
</li><li>Develop genetic predictions for calving ease direct and maternal, as well as heifer pregnancy and temperament.
</li><li>Initiate research to incorporate DNA tests into genetic evaluation, and to develop genetic predictions of feed efficiency.
</li><li> Brought National Cattle Evaluation in-house. </li></ul>
27. John Lacey
John Lacey’s family started cattle ranching nearly 150 years ago in Independence, CA. Born in 1939, John Lacey graduated from college with a bachelor’s degree in animal science, and returned from duty with the U.S. Marine Corps to become a ranching partner with his father. <br><br>
With his wife, Dee, and children, Lacey, of Paso Robles, CA, ranches in four counties and <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/0708-cattle-feeders-hall-of-fame-2... cattle for Harris Ranch Beef Co</a>. The family also raises and sells quality ranch horses. <br><br>
Lacey is a past president of the California Cattlemen’s Association, and the only person to serve as president of both the National Cattlemen’s Association (NCA) and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). <br><br>
Lacey’s leadership, insight and credibility among grassroots producers were a key to the successful merger of NCA and the National Live Stock and Meat Board (NLSMB)/Beef Industry Council into NCBA, which officially began operation Feb. 1, 1996. He served as an NLSMB director and a representative of the Federation of State Beef Councils on the Beef Promotion Operating Committee. Lacey is also a pioneer in beef merchandising, helping Harris Ranch Beef Co. design its branded beef program.
28. H.C. “Ladd” Hitch Jr.
H.C. “Ladd” Hitch Jr. provides a prime example of just what a family operation can accomplish.<br><br>
Born in Guymon, OK, Hitch was chairman of the board of Hitch Enterprises, a vertically integrated agribusiness that included everything from farming to a branded beef line. <br><br>Though the Hitch Ranch has existed in Oklahoma’s Panhandle since 1884, vertical integration began when Hitch developed the region’s first large irrigation well in 1947. From irrigation came increased grain production, then feedlots, followed by the packing plants and then branded beef. <br><br> Hitch had the foresight to recognize the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_high_high_moisture">need for risk management</a>, establishing his own commodity firm in the late 1960s and purchasing a seat on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. In 1982, Hitch Feedlots assisted USDA in developing a quality assurance program that would allow certification that beef produced under this system would contain no harmful chemicals. The program is now known as Verified Production Control. <br><br>
A founding member of the Oklahoma Cattlemen’s Association (OCA), Hitch died July 29, 1996, of a heart attack while attending OCA’s annual meeting.
29. Lloyd Tate
Lloyd Tate, Grapevine, TX, devoted most of his career to the development of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/regulation/cattlemen-embark-next-chapter-animal-... ID technology</a>, and is known in the industry as the “pioneer of animal ID.” He worked for two major manufacturers of animal ID products: Temple Tag, Temple, TX; and Allflex USA, Dallas, TX. <br><br>
Tate was responsible for many key developments in feedlot tags, permanent ID tags and electronic ID technology. He was an innovator in understanding how to embed the electronic transponder into plastics. He also developed many of the readers that are in operation at feedlots and packing plants. <br><br>
At the time of his death on June 20, 2004, Tate was vice president of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_simplify_recordkeeping ">technology and development for Allflex</a>. His career of more than 20 years in animal health and animal ID was the perfect place to showcase his uncanny ability to bring technology into real-world practicality. It was said that Tate understood livestock producers and worked to match technology with customer needs. <br><br>
At his passing, he left the industry with the foundation and technology to build a solid <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/blog/do-we-need-animal-id ">animal ID system</a>. To continue to honor his service and contributions to the beef industry, Allflex developed the Lloyd Tate Award for Innovation. It is presented annually to leaders furthering the cause of animal ID.
30. Mel Coleman Sr.
In the late 1970s when cattle markets were slumping and the food industry was demanding low-cost meats, Mel Coleman Sr., founder of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_niche_natural">Coleman Natural Meats Co.,</a> discovered the market potential of natural meats. Coleman was convinced that customers were willing to pay a premium price for natural products from cattle produced without pesticides, antibiotics or growth promotants, and he worked with USDA to create the first label for meat produced without hormones or antibiotics. In 1981, he sold meat to a natural foods store based in California. <br><br>
Coleman was one of the first to use ear tag record systems for verifying production protocol, and developed humane production and handling requirements that are now standards for natural meat production. He was also active in establishing the standards for <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/0513-define-organic-sustainabile">... beef</a> and winning the adoption of the Organic Foods Production Act in the 1990 Farm Bill. He died in February 2002.
31. Louis “Mick” Colvin
In 1978, Louis “Mick” Colvin took the concept of identifying and marketing Angus-type cattle and created the <a href=" http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_branded_lessons">Certified Angus Beef<sup>®</sup> (CAB) brand</a>. In a time when few people were talking about branding fresh meat, Colvin envisioned the positive impact it could have on the production, sales, marketing and consumption of beef. <br><br>
A native of south-central Pennsylvania, Colvin began working at the American Angus Association (AAA) in 1968 after graduating from Penn State University, where he excelled on the livestock judging team and worked at the university’s beef center. Before accepting a position as an AAA regional manager, he managed purebred Angus operations in Connecticut and South Carolina. <br><br>
Colvin was working for the AAA when members began considering the attributes of a branded beef program. They knew that for such a program to succeed, retailers and food-service operators must be willing to pay a premium for <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/business/steve-kay/beef-has-raised-quality-cattl... beef products</a>. Colvin assured them it was possible. <br><br>
Under Colvin’s leadership, CAB’s success underscored to the overall beef industry the merits of producing, identifying and marketing high-quality beef products. During his 22 years as CAB executive director (he retired in 1999), the program’s sales grew to almost 500 million lbs. worldwide and $2.7 billion in customer sales annually. Today, 2.2 million lbs. of CAB product are sold daily, generating an estimated $4 billion in annual consumer sales in the U.S. and 45 international destinations at nearly 14,000 restaurants and grocery stores.
32. Paul Engler
Born in Stuart, NE, in 1929, <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/1001-cattle-hall-fame-inductees">Paul Engler</a> bought and managed his first cattle (100 head) at age 14. A year later, he enrolled at the University of Nebraska and graduated in seven semesters, paying for the venture from the proceeds of cattle sales. <br><br>
In 1960, he founded and built Hereford Feedyard in Hereford, TX, the first large-scale commercial feedyard in what was to become the epicenter of the fed-cattle industry. <br><br>
In 1972, he became head of IBP’s carcass division, and initiated the establishment and design of IBP’s beef plant in Amarillo, which was the largest beef slaughtering plant in the U.S. at that time. <br><br>
In 1975, he founded and became chairman of the largest privately owned fed-cattle producer in the U.S. Headquartered in Amarillo, Cactus Feeders is a $750 million company that employs more than 500 people across 10 locations in the Texas Panhandle and southwest Kansas. <br><br>
Responsible for a number of firsts in the industry, Engler created the formula-pricing method of fed-cattle sales in 1987, which allowed feeders to consistently produce beef that met consumers’ health and quality demands. <br><br>
In 1990, the Engler family established a company employee stock ownership plan, the first such ownership structure in the fed-cattle industry. Today, employees’ stake in the company approaches $100M.
33. Paul D. Andre
When Paul D. Andre was hired as the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/founding-editor-beef-paul-andre-set-bar-h... editor of <i>BEEF</i> magazine,</a> the publication was little more than a concept. The Mechanicsville, IA, native was responsible for determining the editorial direction and look of <i>BEEF</i> magazine. Andre selected <i>BEEF>/i> as the nameplate for the startup publication as a reminder to both readers and staff that consumer satisfaction of the end product was all-important. <br><br>
The publication debuted in September 1964, devoted entirely to the interests of a circulation of 40,000 Midwestern farmer-feeders. At that time, Iowa was the leading cattle feeding state, with other Corn Belt states providing most of the remainder of the fed cattle. <br><br>
The industry was evolving, however. New lots sprung up in the Southern Plains, followed by new state-of-the-art processing firms that led to the demise of old-line packers and terminal markets. In the 1970s, consumerism took root and flourished, and the beef chain increasingly came to realize that the end goal had to be a <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beef-quality/an-eye-on-end-product-0201">product that consumers wanted</a>. <br><br>
Andre and his staff chronicled these changes, evolving the magazine, along with the industry, into a national publication that today serves almost 100,000 readers in all production sectors. <br><br>
Andre retired in August 1993. He and his wife, Fran, live in Shakopee, MN.
34. Paul Genho
A Jacksonville, FL, native, <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_what_lose">Paul Genho</a> holds a Ph.D. in animal science from the University of Florida, and currently heads up the worldwide commercial agricultural operations of AgReserves Inc. <br><br>
From 1981 to 1998, <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_creating_opprotunities">Genho</a> managed Deseret Cattle and Citrus in St. Cloud, FL, and served as general manager of the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_unbreakable">King Ranch</a> from 1998-2004, where he was responsible for managing cattle and wildlife on 825,000 acres in South Texas. <br><br>
However, his contributions have extended deeply into training future generations of beef industry professionals. He served as an adjunct professor at Brigham Young University between 1998-2001, and Utah State University in 1998-1999. And he was a catalyst in the development of the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management’s master’s program at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, where he serves as an adjunct professor. <br><br>
Genho is a former president of the Florida Cattlemen’s Association, and has served on many other industry and government committees. Among these, he chaired the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Research & Technical Services Group and the Checkoff Division, and served on the Cattlemen’s Beef Board Operating Committee.
35. Robert “Bob” Peterson
Robert “Bob” Peterson <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_survivor">led IBP Inc. for more than 20 years</a> as CEO and chairman. He oversaw the company’s ascendancy to become the nation’s largest meat and beef packer. <br><bR>
Peterson was a controversial executive with a reputation for toughness and thoroughness. He began at IBP in 1961 as a cattle buyer, and rose through the ranks to become president and chief operating officer in 1977. He took over the reins of CEO in 1980, and chairman in 1981 — positions he held until Tyson bought IBP in September 2001. <br><bR>
During his tenure, Peterson increased IBP’s employment from 9,500 to 52,000 people. Sales grew from $4.6 billion annually to more than $16.9 billion. He moved IBP into the value-added and branded beef era with the Thomas E. Wilson brand of consumer-ready products in 2000. <br><bR>
After retiring as IBP chairman, Peterson remained on Tyson’s board of directors until November 2003. He died at age 71 on May 5, 2004.
36. Richard “Dick” Spader
Richard “Dick” Spader, former American Angus Association (AAA) executive vice president, led AAA during his 32-year career to be the largest and most influential breed registry in the world. <br><br>
Born on Jan. 31, 1945, he grew up the youngest of six children on the family farm near Howard, SD, and served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years following high school. An accomplished bull rider at South Dakota State University, Spader began his AAA career in 1969 after graduating with a degree in animal science and a minor in agricultural journalism. <br><br>
He began as the assistant director of public relations, and became director of AAA’s performance programs department in 1976. Under his direction, AAA issued its first Field Data Sire Evaluation Report and <a href="http://www.angus.org/performance/Pathfinder.aspx">Pathfinder Report. </a><br><br>
In 1981, Spader was named executive vice president, and served in that capacity until his death in October 2001. Among the achievements during his tenure were establishment of the Commercial Relations Department and development of the Angus Information Management Software program. <br><br>
From 1986 to 2001, Angus cattle registrations increased from 133,000 to more than 271,000, and the performance records database increased from 179,000 to 693,000 weights processed annually.
37. Richard McDonald
Richard McDonald was raised on a cotton-grain-livestock farm in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Texas A&M University, and a master’s degree and Ph.D. in animal breeding, nutrition and statistics from Louisiana State University. <br><bR>
He worked for two years as an area livestock specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service before joining the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_case">Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA) in 1974 as executive director</a>. His duties included interfacing with regulatory agencies and the state legislature, a role in which he made his mark as a cattle feeding advocate and lobbyist. <br><bR>
McDonald became TCFA’s executive vice president in 1988. Under his leadership, TCFA developed the first beef industry <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beeftv/1216-video-changing-face-BQA">Beef Quality Assurance</a> (BQA) program, which served as a template for industry BQA programs to follow. <br><bR>
TCFA also became the only association to obtain certification from USDA for Quality System Assessment. This allowed the staff to work with members in developing paperwork for source and age verification needed to export beef to Japan. <br><bR>
Early on, McDonald recognized that environmental issues would become a huge issue for feedyards, and he and his staff worked with regulators and legislators to develop one of the first comprehensive environmental management programs for Texas feedyards. In essence, TCFA staff became environmental consultants for feedyard members, helping them understand, navigate and stay in compliance with the myriad state and national environmental rules and regulations. <br><bR>
McDonald retired from TCFA in 2006 and passed away in October 2010.
38. Richard Willham
Richard Willham, the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/genetics/cut-through-clutter-when-analyzing-epds... of EPDs,</a> is credited as one of the foremost contributors to beef cattle breeding. A Stillwater, OK, native, <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_lifetime_commitment">Willham is considered the father of national beef sire evaluation</a>, and was a prime mover in the design, development and implementation of several sire evaluation programs. <br><br>
Willham received a B.S. in animal science in 1954 from the Oklahoma A&M College, and an M.S. and doctorate from Iowa State University (ISU). He worked as an assistant professor (1959-1963) in ISU’s Animal Science Department, before accepting a position as associate professor (1963-1966) at Oklahoma State University. He returned to ISU in 1966 as associate professor and was promoted to professor in 1971. In 1979, he became C.F. Curtiss Distinguished Professor in Agriculture, and a professor emeritus in 1997. <br><br>
A founding member of the Beef Improvement Federation, Willham coauthored the organization’s National Sire Evaluation Guidelines. He introduced the concept of breeding values to the beef industry, and the analysis of performance records in five breed associations. <br><br>
Willham is also known for his love of livestock history and art. He curated the art exhibit “Centuries of Fascination: Art About Livestock,” at ISU in 1990, during the annual American Society of Animal Science meeting. He also wrote the centennial history for the ISU Animal Science Department in 1996, and cowrote the 100-year history of the Saddle and Sirloin Club. He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Esther Burkhart, since June 1, 1954.
39. Robert N. Rebholtz Sr.
Robert N. Rebholtz Sr. turned his dream of owning a livestock business into one of the country’s most <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_northwest_entrepreneur">successful stories of entrepreneurship</a>. At his death in 1997, the founder of Agri Beef Co. left a Boise, ID-based ranching, cattle feeding and integrated agribusiness legacy that his family continues to carry on under the leadership of his son, Robert Rebholtz Jr. <br><br>
Rebholtz began his career in 1962 by managing the T Lazy S Ranch, a 300,000-acre commercial operation in Battle Mountain, NV. He then acquired Snake River Cattle Feeders in American Falls, ID, in 1968. That purchase laid the foundation for Agri Beef Co., which he founded, owned and chaired until his death at 58. <br><br>
He left a multifaceted company that included livestock breeding and ranching, commercial feeding, nutritional solutions, beef processing, trucking, risk-management services and mineral exploration. <a href="http://www.agribeef.com">Agri Beef</a> is a diversified, natural resource-based firm operating in 18 states, with hundreds of employees. Associated divisions also include animal feed manufacturing, veterinary supplies and meatpacking. <br><br>
Rebholtz’s vision fostered expansion of cattle feeding in the Northwest, which was the driving force behind IBP’s entry into the region. His legacy of volunteerism included significant contributions to the beef industry. In 1973, he was among those who spearheaded the idea of a national beef checkoff. He later served as chairman of the former National Live Stock and Meat Board.
40. Robert Totusek
Robert Totusek is described as a rare combination of scientist, teacher and practical cattleman. Raised on a grain and livestock farm near Graber, OK, Totusek served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II. He earned his master’s degree in 1950 and doctorate in 1952 in animal nutrition from Purdue, and then accepted a faculty position at Oklahoma State University (OSU). He advanced through the academic ranks to professor of animal science, and to eventually head of the animal science department in 1976. <br><br>
As a livestock judge, Totusek recognized the need to move away from fatter, slow-growing cattle, as well as identifying moderate-type cattle. He facilitated a National Steer Symposium at OSU, and later, a National Cattle Beef Symposium, both of which were credited for establishing guidelines to moderate show-ring extremes. <br><br>
Totusek believed it was important to emphasize <a href=" http://beefmagazine.com/management/high-profit-vs-low-profit-beef-produc... when presenting new research, as not every practice that increased production increased profits. He created a technique to evaluate every practice developed by research with a cost-return analysis. <br><br>
Totusek’s 38-year tenure at OSU was marked by industry-changing innovation. In the years following his appointment as department head, 30 faculty positions were added; new animal science building, arena, beef cattle research center and horse facilities were built; and undergraduate and graduate enrollment increased. He retired in 1990 and remains active in the animal science alumni association.
41. Roy Wallace
Roy Wallace, vice president of beef programs for Select Sires, spent his life in pursuit of producing better beef cattle through improved genetics and reproduction. A fierce proponent of performance testing, Wallace served as a sire-evaluation adviser to several breed associations. <br><br>
A strong supporter of national sire summaries and an early adopter of structured sire evaluations, Wallace was involved with the selection of bulls with genetics for lighter birthweights, which allowed breeders to use proven calving-ease bulls on virgin heifers. He also worked to find better ways to breed beef cows through artificial insemination (AI) to genetically superior bulls. Other aspects of his work included feeding progesterone to cows, a technique that evolved into the MGA programs used today. <br><br>
Widely recognizable in his leather jacket, with a cigar clenched between his teeth, the affable Wallace worked with researchers at several universities to develop effective AI synchronization programs including Select-Synch, MGA-Select and CIDR-Select. <br><br>
Wallace worked for Select Sires for 40 years, serving as vice president of beef programs and devoting his life to <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_bullish_ai">beef cattle improvement</a>. He became involved with the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) in its infancy, and was the only person to attend each of the first 40 BIF conventions. Wallace was honored with both BIF’s Pioneer Award and Continuing Service Award; he co-authored the BIF 25-year history, “Ideas into Action.” <br><br>
Wallace <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/beef-industry-loses-legend">passed away on Jan. 20</a>, 2008, doing what he loved; he was attending the National Western Stock Show in Denver at the time.
42. H. Russell Cross
The contributions of H. Russell Cross to the beef industry include some of the most significant <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beef-quality/what-industry-learned-being-pink-sl... measures</a> adopted in the latter half of the 20th century. Currently serving as a professor and head of the Texas A&M University (TAMU) Department of Animal Science, Cross boasts 40 years of experience in the food industry, holding or having held numerous positions in government, academia and the private sector. <br><br>
Cross was the founding director of TAMU’s Institute of Food Science and Engineering. In 1994, as head of TAMU’s Center for Food Safety, he organized and led an international meat and poultry alliance that applied Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles, a food safety protocol that revolutionized meat processing. Soon thereafter, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) began requiring HACCP in all domestic meat and poultry processing plants, along with foreign companies exporting meat to the U.S. The International HACCP Alliance today represents 24 food associations, 40 universities and the governments of 13 countries. <br><br>
Cross was leader of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center’s Meat Research Group, and served as FSIS administrator from February 1992 to February 1994 under presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He also served in several high-level positions within private industry’s food sector. <br><br>
Cross lives in College Station with his wife, Elaine.
43. Temple Grandin
Temple Grandin’s groundbreaking work in the areas of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/news/0901-temple-grandin-emmy-awards">cattle care and handling</a> has changed the way producers, feedlots and packers handle their animals. Grandin is a designer of livestock handling facilities, a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University, a bestselling author, and one of the world’s most accomplished and well-known adults with high-functioning autism. <br><br>
Her facility designs are found throughout North America and around the world, including Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe. Her designs include a center-track restrainer system that is used in meat plants, and curved chutes and race systems. <br><br>
Grandin’s research and writings on animal flight zones and other principles of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/blog/temple-grandin-abcs-cattle">animal behavior</a> have improved animal care and helped many people reduce animal stress during handling. <br><br>
Several meat packers and some of the largest retail chains in the world use the objective scoring system she designed to assess the handling of cattle and pigs at meat plants to improve animal welfare. <br><br>
Grandin’s other research includes cattle temperament, reducing dark cutters and bruising, bull fertility, training procedures, and effective stunning methods of animals in meat plants. <br><br>
She was the subject of an <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/news/0901-temple-grandin-emmy-awards">award-winning HBO biopic</a>, and was listed among TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2010.
44. Steve Hunt
Steve Hunt, <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/allied-industry/leadership-changes-us-premium-be... CEO of U.S. Premium Beef (USPB)</a>, Kansas City, MO, was the leading influence in creating the largest producer-owned beef marketing company in the U.S. The philosophy behind USPB, initiated in 1997, is to reward producers for producing better beef products by providing economic incentives to its members.
At the <http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_from_vision_reality">heart of the USPB concept</a> was to break the “one-price-fits-all” average pricing system regarded as responsible for the beef industry’s loss of market share to other proteins. Hunt created and facilitated the value-based marketing system that turned the trend around and helped the beef industry regain market share.
Twenty-one producers first met in November 1995 to discuss the concept of forming a marketing cooperative that would vertically integrate the beef industry for its members. Those producers wanted to build a production and marketing system that would enable them to produce high-quality beef, and own it all the way through value-added processing. <br><br>
Producers from 36 states have marketed their cattle through USPB, North America’s premier producer-owned, vertically integrated beef company.<br><br>
A fourth-generation beef producer raised on a beef and crop farm near Arkansas City, KS, Hunt worked in many areas of commercial banking, including direct agricultural lending, credit training, finance, and international and commercial lending prior to helping launch USPB. He retired in January 2013 after 17 years at the USPB helm.
45. Topper Thorpe
Topper Thorpe had a 32-year tenure with CattleFax, the nation’s premiere market information, analysis, research and educational service, which is owned and directed by cattle producers and feeders. <br><br>
A native of Las Cruces, NM, who grew up on the Thorpe Farm near Doña Ana, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural business in 1964 and 1968, respectively, from New Mexico State University. After serving in the military, he became a <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_better">market analyst for CattleFax</a> upon the firm’s establishment in 1968, and rose to executive vice president. <br><br>
Thorpe not only made a major contribution to CattleFax and to the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, but significantly impacted the cattle business in general, helping thousands of CattleFax members with timely market forecasts for use in marketing, risk management and planning. Few professionals have matched his dedication and industry insight. <br><br>
Thorpe also served as executive vice president of CF Resources Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CattleFax that provides seminars, training, consulting, surveys and special research projects for the livestock industry. He retired from CattleFax in January 2001 and resides in Cliff, NM.
46. Terry Klopfenstein
Terry Klopfenstein is an internationally recognized authority in <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/cowcalfweekly/1202-Klopfenstein-debunks-backgrou... cattle nutrition</a> and the first to develop beef cattle diets using distillers grains as both a protein and energy source. Discovering the synergy that occurs when <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/markets/feed/0501-storing-wet-distillers-grains"... distillers replace corn</a> in cattle finishing diets, his research served as the foundation for the “golden triangle” of corn, ethanol and cattle feeding industries in the state of Nebraska.<br><br>
Klopfenstein joined the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) faculty in 1965, after completing his doctorate in ruminant nutrition at Ohio State University. He held the Wagner Professorship from 1989-2007 and has been the adviser or co-adviser to more than 150 graduate students in ruminant nutrition during his UNL career.<br><br>
His students are leaders in academia, industry, private consulting, government and beef cattle production. Larry Berger, UNL Marvel L. Baker department head, says it’s “almost impossible to go to an event involving beef cattle nutrition and not find one of the emeritus professor’s former students leading the meeting or playing a prominent role.”<br><br>
Klopfenstein has won 26 college, university, national and international awards. In the American Society of Animal Science, he has won every possible award for which he is eligible, including the Morrison Award, the most prestigious award given by that professional society.
47. William D. “W.D.” Farr
William D. “W.D.” Farr, Greeley, CO, is the patriarch of an internationally known <a href=" http://beefmagazine.com/beefstockertrends/0825-engler-farr-inducted-feed... cattle-feeding enterprise</a> recognized for many years as one of the most technically advanced in the world. <br><br>
Born in 1910, Farr pioneered year-round cattle feeding, the feeding of high-moisture corn and many other feeding innovations. As the business grew, Farr acquired ranches and farms, plus land for feedlots. He was a pioneer in fenceline feeding and a leader in developing northern Colorado’s water resources for both agricultural and municipal use. <br><br>
He served as president of the American National Cattlemen’s Association, chairman of the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, and a director of the National Live Stock and Meat Board. He was also a member of USDA’s National Cattle Industry Advisory Committee under three U.S. presidents. <br><br>
Farr was a founding director of the Colorado Cattle Feeders Association and chaired numerous national committees ranging from <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/ranch-profiles/beef_industry_loses_legend... feeding</a> and beef grading to tax policy. Commitment and service to the Greeley community and the state of Colorado were priorities in Farr’s life. <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/thanks-w-d">He passed away in 2007</a>.
48. Bud and Eunice Williams
Bud Williams was born in 1932 on a farm in southern Oregon, where he was raised with a variety of farm animals including work horses, dairy and beef cattle, and sheep and hogs. After he and Eunice married in 1952, he worked on cattle and sheep ranches in Northern California. His reputation as a “troubleshooter” evolved from being a good neighbor and “bringing in the ones that got away.” During his career, he was regarded as one of the world’s top livestock handling gurus. <br><bR>
The main qualifications enabling Williams to perfect his method of handling livestock were said to be his great powers of observation and pure stubbornness. He was able to graze rotationally without fences by taking any type of livestock (including weaned calves) onto unfenced ranges and teaching them to stay as a herd. <br><bR>
In 1989, after much urging from people he had helped through the years, Bud began actively teaching his stockmanship methods to a larger number of people in the hope his <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/beef-quality/cattle-handling/1001-crowd-pen-stoc... methods of working livestock</a> would not die with him. For 11 years ending in 2000, Bud and Eunice were headquartered at Vee Tee Feeders Ltd. near Lloydminster, Alberta, one of the most northern feedlots on the continent. Since the bulk of the incoming cattle are freshly weaned calves, and the weather conditions are far from ideal, Bud felt the information he gathered there had special significance. <br><bR>
Bud died of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/blog/my-thoughts-and-prayers-go-out-bud-williams... cancer in November 2012</a>.
49. E. John Pollak & Richard “Dick” Quaas
E. John Pollak and Richard “Dick” Quaas, Cornell University beef cattle geneticists, spent more than two decades developing and applying new statistical techniques for evaluating genetic merit of beef cattle using field data. Their work was integral to the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/genetics/universities_epd_focus">EPD revolution</a> of the 1980s and ’90s.
For many years, they worked closely with the American Simmental Association on research and EPD calculations. Later, they cooperated on a multiple-breed evaluation, which included association data on Simmental (American and Canadian), Simbrah, Maine-Anjou and Chianina, plus a variety of composites and individual herds.<br><br>
Pollak was instrumental in the Carcass Merit Project, sponsored jointly by breed associations and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium (NBCEC) and served as director.<br><br>
Quaas chaired the NBCEC committee charged with validating commercial DNA tests and incorporating genomic information into national cattle evaluation.<br><br>
The duo received the World Simmental Federation Golden Book Award in 2002. They also have been long active in the Beef Improvement Federation (BIF), delivering presentations at numerous annual meetings and genetic prediction workshops.<br><br>
In 1999, they jointly received the BIF Pioneer Award. The inscription on the award said: “There have been few advances in applied beef cattle genetic prediction in the last 20 years that have not been influenced by the work of Pollak and Quaas.”<br><br>
Quaas retired in 2010, while Pollak became director of the Meat Animal Research Center in Clay Center, NE, in 2010.
50. James N. Wiltbank
James N. Wiltbank, who passed away in December 1995, was born on Oct. 9, 1924, in Storrs, UT. He grew up in the livestock country of Eagar, AZ, and attended the University of Arizona for one year before being called to serve with the U.S. Army in World War II. He served in an anti-aircraft unit in England, Belgium, France and Germany. <br><br>
When he returned, he attended Brigham Young University (BYU) and completed his degree in animal science in 1951, followed by master’s and doctorate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1952 and 1955, respectively. <br><br>
Wiltbank worked for the University of Nebraska in Fort Robinson, NE; the USDA in Beltsville, MD; Colorado State University (CSU); Texas A&M University; and BYU. In his research on reproductive management, Wiltbank refined management of <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/health/calving">calving practices</a>, artificial insemination, estrus synchronization and nutritional management for improved reproduction of beef cattle. <br><br>
During his time working in Fort Robinson, Wiltbank studied the age and weight at which heifers in different breeds reached puberty. He also studied the nutrient requirements of cows during pregnancy and prior to breeding, relating the nutrition level and body condition score of the cow to her return to estrus and conception. <br><br>
While at CSU, he developed a method for synchronizing estrus in beef heifers using an ear implant. The technology was used to create the <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/mag/beef_smart_breeding">Syncro-Mate-B treatment</a>. His final university position was with BYU in 1981, where he helped to greatly accentuate the livestock research and teaching facilities. After retiring from BYU, he continued to interact with the beef industry as a consultant and guest speaker. He and wife Trudy moved back to Arizona and settled in Mesa.
51. Warren and Ken Monfort
Warren and Ken Monfort were a visionary duo who together helped revolutionize the cattle feeding and <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/blog/packing-business-has-evolved-carcass-case-r... businesses.</a> Warren, who passed away in 1978, and <a href="http://beefmagazine.com/people/ranch-profiles/1201-kenny-monforts-life">son Ken</a>, who died in 2001, were different in temperament but similar in their enthusiasm for building a successful, innovative business model in a competitive, capital-intensive and tradition-tied industry.<br><br>
In the early 1960s, Warren and Ken helped revolutionize cattle feeding by supporting research of steam flaking of corn and installing flakers at their Greeley, CO, feedlot — at the time, the world’s largest. In addition, they instituted computer technology to help feed their cattle to assure proper rations.<br><br>
They would later construct a second lot in Gilcrest, CO, that used similar technology, and transfer all of the technology to another lot near Kersey, closing their Greeley lot because the city was growing northward.<br><bR>
Warren was recognized as one of the first large cattle feeders in the 1930s, and in the 1960s introduced or investigated many innovations to help improve the business and increase environmental awareness. He was also a paternalistic employer, providing his workers lunch and milk to take home every day. Employees of the feedlots were also allowed to fill up their cars with gas at the feedlot gas pumps, and record their usage on the honor system. <br><br>
The father-son team helped bring beef packing west toward the cattle by opening up a packing plant when the large processors would not consider doing so, and helped develop the boxed-beef concept. Ken was a pioneer and risk-taker when it came to beef marketing, and others were encouraged to be more adventuresome because of his — and his father’s — willingness to try new things. Together they inspired the ideas and energy of an entire industry.
52. About The Judges
The trio tasked with sifting through the nominations, deliberating on them, and delivering the final BEEF 50 consisted of three industry experts representing all aspects of the U.S. beef industry:
<b>Wayne Vanderwert, Ph.D. in meat science</b> is the owner and
operator of H-Squared Genetics, a family-owned, 300-head operation in Missouri; and former executive director of the American Gelbvieh Association.
<b>Bill Miller</b> is the vice president of communications for U.S. Premium Beef; a Council Grove, KS, cow-calf producer; and former beef writer and editor for <i>BEEF Today</i> and <i>Successful Farming</i> magazines.
<b>Dan Kniffen, Ph.D.</b> is an assistant professor of animal science and Pennsylvania State University Extension beef specialist; former director of producer education programs for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association; former Colorado State University Extension livestock specialist; and current operator of Windy Butte Ranch-Kniffen Livestock in Spring Mills, PA.