Headliner Award Winners
DEADLINE: December 1 each year
LPC's Headliner Award Program, inaugurated in 1980, salutes an individual for meritorious service to the livestock industry. Following are recipients of the award:
Larry Corah, The LPC Headliner Award winner is Larry Corah, Manhattan, Kan. This award honors a person from outside the livestock publishing field for actions that produce a positive change in livestock production and marketing. A native of North Dakota and graduate of North Dakota State University, Dr. Corah also earned his Master of Science in ruminant nutrition from Michigan State University. His impressive history includes a two year stint in Australia developing producer education in the Outback. Through a few more moves he finally settled in Manhattan, where he became an Extension Beef Cattle Specialist and promoted to Section Leader for KSU Extension Animal Science in 1979, full professor in 1983 and then coordinator of KSU cow-calf research two years later. It was there that his impact in the livestock industry was noticed with KSU Livestock Extension meetings becoming a hot ticket, with up to 10 times the previous attendance level.
He took two sabbaticals--one in 1982 to act as an interim executive for the American Simmental Association in Bozeman, Mont., and in 1990 to teach for a year at Colorado State University. Corah took early “retirement” to serve as Director of Producer Programs for the newly unified National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in 1997. The next year, he accepted his current position as vice-president of supply development for Certified Angus Beef LLC where he has been for the past 16 years. While he is officially retiring now, he still travels to many producer events across North America in response to invitations to speak, to explain those links between consumer and producer, between high-quality production and profit.
Dr. Miles McKee, is a retired professor from Kansas State University and renowned livestock judge. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agriculture in 1951 and his Masters of Science Degree in Animal Husbandry in 1963 at Kansas State University. He was awarded his Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Kentucky in 1968. He was appointed assistant instructor and beef cattle herdsman at Kansas State in 1959. His area of specialty was beef cattle management. During his tenure, Dr. McKee received numerous state and national teaching awards.
He has served as judge for many livestock shows and conducted over 55 livestock judging and showmanship schools at the county level. In January 2005 Dr. McKee retired from K-State, but continues to help with student advising and chronicling the history of the department. In April of 2005 the large lecture hall in Weber was renamed McKee Auditorium. Kyle Colyer who graduated from K-State in 2000 said this about Miles, "Dr. McKee is an icon in the beef industry. He cares about people and has devoted his lifetime to K-State."
David Nichols, is managing partner of Nichols Farms, LTD, a family-owned operation in Southwest IA, that combines seedstock production, cattle feeding, and farming. Nichols Farms is the largest seedstock operation in the Midwest and is the fifth largest in the US. They have sold semen, embryos or live animals to 28 foreign countries. Dave believes industry research and genetic development are essential to success and has participated in research projects with the University of Missouri, Virginia Tech, University of Georgia, Cornell University, University of Minnesota, and Kansas State University. Nichols also participated with Iowa State University in the original ultrasound research.
Tom Burke, American Angus Hall of Fame, Smithville, Mo. Tom started a fieldman for LPC charter member Drovers Journal and then moved into Angus sale management in the 1960s and developing what is now known as the American Angus Hall of Fame. He has been a prolific livestock marketer, judge, show manager, show announcer and speaker. While most well known for his efforts in the Angus breed, he has also been active in the Suffolk sheep industry. Tom has co-authored three books and is working on four others about Angus history. He conducts more than 175 Angus sales per year and makes many speaking appearances at field days and animal science classes across the country. Tom is a fourth generation cattlemen and owner of the original Burke Farm, homesteaded 125 years ago in southeastern Minnesota. He has held leadership roles in FFA and 4-H, as well as in the Angus cattle industry and the Suffolk sheep industry.
Dr. Jon Beever has helped provide key tools for beef producers to eliminate genetic problems in their herds. He is at the forefront in research and development of DNA testing, which he did by working cooperatively with beef breed associations, veterinarians, breeders and other scientists. Many breeds have been able to move forward and beyond genetic abnormality situations because of his research. American Maine Anjou Association executive vice president, John Boddicker said of him, “If one stops to think of the effect that Beever’s work has had not only on the pedigreed livestock industry, but more importantly the entire commercial beef industry the numbers would be staggering.”
The Headliner Award was presented to agriculture economist, Glenn Grimes, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri. Grimes is recognized for pioneering pork industry economic outlooks, the pork demand index and practical application of gilt data. In 1983, he began a 20- year consulting relationship with the U.S. pork industry. Grimes, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agriculture economics from the University of Missouri, worked for the school for more than 58 years. He has been honored by many state and national organizations for his impact on the industry, providing expertise to dozens of pork-industry and agricultural partners.
Robert A. “Bob” Funk, Express Ranches, Yukon, Okla. Funk was born and raised in Duvall, Wash., and raised in a family of modest means. He worked on his cousin’s dairy farm through high school where he developed an agriculturally based work ethic and his love for cattle. In high school, he was a member of FFA. A consummate “people person,” Funk spent the first 17 years of his early career in the personnel business working for Acme Personnel which ultimately became Express Personnel Services. By 1983, when the first Express personnel office was franchised, the company was experiencing phenomenal growth and within five years, Express ranked among the top personnel firms in the United States and numbers more than 600 franchises today. Having spent his youth working with cattle, when the opportunity to buy land and get involved in the cattle business presented itself, Funk jumped in with the same drive and determination that he had used to build his primary business. He selected Limousin cattle for his first venture into the purebred seedstock business, then more than a decade ago, Angus cattle became a major part of the growth and expansion of the Express Ranches enterprise.
Dr. Temple Grandin, a noted animal behaviorist and designer of livestock handling. Dr. Grandin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Franklin Pierce College, her Master of Science degree in animal science at Arizona State University, and Ph.D in animal science from the University of Illinois. As a professor of animal science, she teaches courses on livestock behavior and facility design at Colorado State University (CSU) and consults with the livestock industry on facility design, livestock handling and animal welfare. Temple Grandin-designed facilities are used throughout the world and in North America, almost half of all cattle are handled in a center-track restrainer system she designed for meat plants. One of the world’s highest functioning autistics, she has worked to foster a better understanding of autism among the general population and is a prominent advocate for autism rights. An HBO biopic starring actress Claire Danes that chronicles Dr. Grandin’s life and experiences over the decades of the 1960s and 1970s is set to air in 2010.
Burman Cephas Snidow Jr., better known as Bud joined the American Hereford Association in 1951, and spent the next 32 years with the organization. He worked on the field staff, managed the records department and was AHA’s assistant secretary. Because of his experience with international marketing, Bud was also asked to serve as the U.S. Beef Breeds Coordinator and promoter of U.S. cattle marketing. He served in this role until he was 72. Bud continues to serve as the “AHA Historian,” and even now at 90, can often be found working in the Hereford museum.
Stanley E. Stout was honored posthumously as the 2007 winner. He was raised on the famous Titus Stout Hereford Ranch in the Flint Hills of Kansas and called Cottonwood Falls, Kansas home. He attended Kansas State University and went on to receive his formal auction training at the Walter Britton Auctioneer School in Bryan, Texas. In the early stages of his career, Stanley held field representative positions with publications such as the Western Livestock Journal and Drovers Journal, (now Drovers) He was eventually promoted to head of field staff for Drovers and then director of advertising for the Charolais Banner. After working with the North American Auction Company, Stout founded his own company, Stanley E. Stout Auction Services, in 1975. For more than 30 years he was the auctioneer to have on your sale and he eventually was selling anywhere between 140 and 180 dates annually. He served on the Board of Governors of the American Royal.
Darrell Anderson, CEO of the National Swine Registry has nearly 30 years of experience in agrculture related areas including his current role with the NSR. Ten years ago, he was the leader in the successful merging of the four breeds that comprise the NSR (Duroc, Hampshire, Landrace and Yorkshire) which created the largest purebred swine association in the nation. Prior to this position he served as executive secretary of the American Yorkshire Club. He also has a deep-rooted belief in youth programs and was instrumental in the establishment of the first junior directors of both the National Junior Suffolk Association and the NSR. He serves on numerous professional committees in the swine industry, is a livestock auctioneer for sheep sales and is a certified llama judge. His scope of knowledge and influence in the swine, sheep, llama and cattle industries make him a true leader in the livestock industry.
Dr. Bob Totusek, joined the animal science faculty at Oklahoma A&M College (now Oklahoma State University, OSU) in 1952 where he spent 38 productive years in teaching, research, public service and administration. It has been said that he is a rare combination of "scientist, teacher and practical cattleman." He was the head of the animal science department for 14 years and is credited with increasing department enrollment by more than 60% while other departments were losing students. He coached the OSU Livestock Judging Team from 1953 to 1961 and won 10 national and international contests.
Henry Gardiner, Gardiner Angus Ranch, is known as a leader in both the commercial and registered cattle business. Their 25th annual production sale broke the industry record when it grossed more than $5.6 million. Gardiner, along with his wife Nan, their three sons and families run the ranch located near Ashland, Kansas. They sell about 1,200 bulls and 600 females annually. They are known for using new technologies as well as meticulous record-keeping. Gardiner is a past recipient of the NCBA Vision Award and is the only producer to have received the Beef Improvement Federation Commercial Producer of the Year and Outstanding Seedstock Producer of the Year awards.
Bill Brewer graduated from Oklahoma State University. He joined The Quarter Horse Journal in 1971 as an advertising sales representative and was promoted to senior director of administration in 1978. From 1979 to 1991 Brewer also served as general manager of the AQHA World Championship Show and American Quarter Horse Youth Association World Championship Show. He was promoted to AQHA's executive vice president in March 1992 and works with it's five-member executive committee and seven executive directors in planning and coordinating business of the world's largest equine breed registry. He oversees the 320 employees who manage the day-to-day operations, which has more than 341,000 worldwide members and has registered more than 4.5 million American Quarter Horses.
Phil M. Seng, president and CEO of the US Meat Export Foundation (USMEF), has been a driving force in the US red meat industry’s impressive level of growth in foreign markets. Under his leadership, USMEF programs have grown to be recognized in more than 50 countries, and exports of US beef and variety meats have grown from $500 million 20 years ago to a record of $3.6 billion in 2000. Raised on an Iowa farm, Seng has a degree in political science and a master’s in East Asian studies. He speaks Japanese and worked as a journalist in Tokyo in the late 1970s.
A distinguished professor of animal science, Dr. Harlan Ritchie has taught at Michigan State University for the last 37 years. Since that time, he has been involved in teaching and research in swine and beef cattle improvement, beef cattle efficiency, beef cattle dystocia and vertically coordinated beef production and marketing systems. He has also held positions within several organizations such as the Beef Improvement Federation, American Society of Animal Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Mick Colvin, Minster, Ohio, Certified Angus Beef. In 1978 Colvin became executive director of the new Certified Angus Beef ProgramTM (CAB). Under his supervision the program set up monitoring, licensing and promotional aspects that are the basis of the CAB’s product quality and integrity. Colvin retired from the position in 1999. Aside from Colvin’s involvement with CAB, he is also a member of many other agriculture organizations including: NCBA, American Angus Association and Ohio Cattlemen’s Association.
Rob Brown, Throckmorton, Texas. Owner of the R.A. Brown Ranch, a family owned business established in 1895. They are an active registered and commercial cattle operation along with top Quarter Horse broodmares. The R.A. Brown Ranch was presented the prestigious AQHA and NCBA Remuda Award and the NCBA’s Centennial Cattle Business of the Century Award in 1998. Brown is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
Topper Thorpe, Englewood, Colorado, executive vice president of Cattle-Fax, a market information, analysis, research and educational service for cattlemen. He is also executive vice president of CF Resources, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cattle-Fax. He holds degrees from New Mexico State University. He joined Cattle-Fax as a market analyst in 1968.
Don L. Good, Manhattan, Kansas, head of Kansas State University Animal Science Department for many years, noted for both administrative abilities and teaching results. He is a highly talented livestock judge and is presently director of development for The Livestock & Meat Industry Council, Inc.
John P. Hughes, DVM, Davis, California. Noted for work in equine reproduction. Chairman of the University of California School of Veterinary Medicine Department of Reproduction. Director of the UC School of Veterinary Medicine Equine Research Laboratory, and director of the UC Veterinary Genetics Laboratory since 1981.
Robert H. Rumler, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, retired executive of Holstein Freisian Association of America noted for his contribution to international marketing. Served 18 years on world trade advisory panels and took part in GATT negotiations. He is an organizer and was chairman of the US Agricultural Export Development Council.
Don C. King, Fort Worth, Texas, secretary-general manager, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. In his present position since 1966, King is noted for his work in preventing theft and in recovering stolen livestock. He has worked at the state, regional and national levels to inform and to educate livestock owners and managers. His work has resulted in saving the industry millions of dollars.
Clinton K. Tomson, Geneva, Illinois, executive vice president, American Live Stock Insurance Company. Tomson has been a livestock breeder, association executive and livestock judge. He was instrumental in the formation of American Live Stock Insurance Co., a company formed to underwrite livestock insurance contracts. He has also been active in importing and exporting livestock.
Dr. Gary C. Smith, Fort Collins, Colorado. Professor Department of Animal Sciences; Montfort Endowed Chair in Meat Science, Colorado State University. Dr. Smith is one of the world's leading researchers in the areas of food safety and new product development. He has done much to stimulate and evaluate consumer acceptance and food safety of red meat.
David G. Eller, Houston, Texas. Founder, chairman and CEO of Granada Corp., Granada BioSciences and Granada Foods. Actions produced positive change in livestock production, marketing and product marketing. From inception in 1972, Granada has been driven by Eller's premise that food and protein production could benefit from technological advances and sound business practices in producing better food products at less cost.
Dr. Glen P. Lofgreen, El Centro, California. Renowned animal scientist who labels himself as "just a quiet cowboy with a Ph.D.," and says, "Everything I do is motivated by answering the questions of how this research will be of value to the producer, whether he be in the cattle feedlot business, dairy or some other livestock activity." The industry daily benefits from practices Lofgreen pioneered before and during his years as superintendent of New Mexico State University's Clayton Research Center
Fred H. Johnson, Summitville, Ohio. For cattle breeding and industry leadership. Owner/operator of Summitcrest, one of the nation's largest Angus operations with divisions in Ohio, Nebraska and Iowa. Founder, American Angus Association's Certified Angus Beef Program. Chairman of Cattlemen's Beef Promotion & Research Board and Beef Promotion Operating Committee.
Jo Ann Smith, Micanopy, Florida. Only woman president of the National Cattlemen's Association. Former vice president, American National Cowbelles; director, Beef Promotion & Research Project; President Reagan's Advisory Committee on Trade Negotiations; board chairman, Jackson Branch, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Later was first chairman, The Beef Board; 1989 USDA Assistant Secretary of Agriculture.
John L. Huston, Chicago. President, National Live Stock & Meat Board. Started as beef industry council assistant secretary in 1967. He took a leave of absence to direct the Beeferendum. Though it failed, lessons learned served in expanding financing and promotions of the Board. Honored for his consistent leadership in research and promotion of the livestock industry.
John B. Armstrong, Kingsville, Texas. Recognized for state, national and international leadership roles. Executive vice president of King Ranch, with operations in six foreign lands and two US properties. Noted Santa Gertrudis breeder; chairman, National Live Stock & Meat Board; president, Texas & Southwestern Cattle Raisers.
C. W. (Bill) McMillan, Washington, D.C. Innumerable contributions to the livestock industry. A leading consultant and lobbyist. Assistant Secretary of Agriculture during the first Reagan administration. Worked at NCA—Denver headquarters and worked with Swift & Co. in Chicago.