Industry Leadership Award


Jim Odle
2019 Recipient

Jim Odle became one of the co-founders of Superior Livestock Auction in 1986. Superior Livestock Auction is the largest video auction, seeing 1.3-1.5 million head of cattle traded every year. After selling the company in 2007, Odle returned to manage SLA in 2009 when it came under the ownership of Farm Credit West, ACA. He now splits his time between the Brush, CO office and the Ft. Worth, TX office.


Dee Griffin _web Photo

Dee Griffin
2017 recipient
Dee Griffin, an “Okie” raised on a small cow/calf operation, has focused his entire professional career on cattle. After completing his veterinary degree from Oklahoma State University, he completed his graduate work at Purdue University focusing on pathology and nutrition. He then became the staff veterinarian for Hitch Enterprises, a family-owned operation that had 1,200 cows, nearly 20,000 stockers, more than 250,000 feeder cattle and two packing plants.

In his current position, Dr. Griffin is a clinical professor at Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine.


Blach _Randy -13

Randy Blach
2016 recipient

Randy Blach is the executive vice president and chief executive officer of CattleFax where he has worked since 1981. Throughout his career, Randy has spoken at hundreds of cattle and beef industry meetings, seminars and conventions. Randy and his family remain actively involved in cattle ranching with cow/calf, stocker and finished cattle.




Topper Thorpe
2015 recipient
In 1968, Topper Thorpe went to work as a market analyst at CattleFax. He served as the Executive Vice President and CEO for nearly 30 years, retiring from CattleFax in 2001. Upon his retirement, Topper returned to livestock production with his wife, Leeann. They currently operate an irrigated family farm and stocker operation in the Gila Basin of New Mexico. 


Gigot 2014
Betty Jo Gigot
2014 recipient

Betty Jo Gigot is the editor and publisher of CALF News, a magazine based in Garden City, Kansas, that she has served for more than 23 years. She became involved in the cattle-feeding industry in 1980 when she founded her own computer company and began writing and installing programs in feedyards across the country.




Harry Knobbe
2013 recipient

Harry Knobbe has dedicated more than 50 years to the cattle-feeding industry. After opening a commodity brokerage office in 1967, Knobbe Commodities Inc., he began buying and selling all weights of feeder cattle to regional farmers through Knobbe Livestock. Today, he also owns a farming and cattle-feeding operation, Harry Knobbe Feedyards, which feeds several thousand head of cattle per year.



Terry Klopfenstein
2012 recipient

Terry Klopfenstein, Ph.D., has established a legacy of innovative research and other scholarly work focused on ruminant nutrition. His passion and dedication to education and the beef community can been seen in his years of service and contributions to advancing our industry.


John Lacey
2011 recipient

For more than 140 years, ranching in California has been the way of life for the Lacey Family. You could say a passion for the beef industry is in John's blood, but it's also evident from his career and accomplishments.



Richard McDonald
2010 recipient

Richard McDonald was a strong, steady and consistent champion for cattle feeders with an innate ability to recognize and capitalize on short- and long-term opportunities for the industry.