The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame has been established to honor the exceptional, visionary men and women who have made lasting contributions to the cattle-feeding industry. Each year, new inductees will be added to this distinguished list of honorees.

 

2019 Inductees

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Bill Foxley
Foxley Cattle Company

After Notre Dame and a subsequent three-year tour in the Marines, Bill Foxley’s Foxley Cattle Company built a 15,000 head feedlot south of Omaha in 1962, with mill equipment developed on the west coast.

Much of what Bill learned about the business was self-taught and acquired through hands-on experience. During his storied career, Mr. Foxley has bought and sold ranch land, marketed hundreds of thousands of heads of cattle, developed new feeding techniques and led positive change to both his business and the industry at large.

Consulting nutritionist Jim Elam said the Foxley Cattle Company’s costs of gain were the lowest in the country. Handsome profits were locked in with hedges on the Mercantile Exchange’s new cattle contracts. In 1974, the company made a leveraged buyout of Fortune 500 meatpacker Flavorland Industries for less than its working capital during Flavorland’s worst loss year. The first year under new ownership was its best ever.

By 1980, the company-owned inventory was a quarter of a million head in its five feedlots in Nebraska, Colorado, Texas and Washington – thanks to friendly bankers and long-term lenders who provided ten to one leverage. 

His decisions were inventive and resourceful. Foxley built the 65,000 head Bartlett, Nebraska feedlot, with half-mile-long sheds over waste pits that were emptied twice a year to fertilize 10,000 acres of irrigated Sand Hills corn.

Foxley Grain Company acquired elevators in eastern Nebraska towns in the early 1980s. All company operations were successfully sold in the 1990s.

With the 1978 purchase of Charlie Russell’s “Wolves Attacking Cattle in a Blizzard,” Foxley put his cattle trading ability to use in building a major western art collection.

 

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James Herring
Retired CEO of Friona Industries

James’ career began on a solid academic footing. After earning his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Austin, Mr. Herring graduated with an MBA from the Harvard Business School. 

James was a Founding Shareholder of First National Bank of Park Cities in Dallas, Texas and served as a Director from 1985 until 1991.

On July 1, 2016, Mr. Herring retired after a 25-year career as President and CEO of Friona Industries, L.P. in Amarillo, Texas. During that time, Friona became the third largest cattle feeding operation in the United States with six commercial feedlots in the Texas Panhandle boasting a one-time capacity of 440,000 head.

In 1989, Herring took the pioneer cattle feeding company with a colorful past toward an incredibly bright future. His instincts told him the industry needed to move toward a more vertically aligned model that capitalized on product branding for beef. Herring recognized the need and opportunity to apply the model to the beef industry to produce a more consistent, tender, high quality product. Taking the bold initiative, he proved the concept successful.

Today, Friona Industries serves as a facilitator ensuring the promise of high quality beef is delivered upon. Ranchers Registry, a branded beef program is distributed to seven different retailers in almost 3,000 stores nationwide.

His influence has been felt on multiple boards and organizations, and his accomplishments have been recognized with numerous industry awards.

Please join us as we recognize and celebrate James E. Herring, a true visionary in our field.

 

2017 Inductees

 

Earl _Brookover _Professional Photo

Earl Brookover
Brookover Feed Yards

Earl Brookover, a Scott County, Kansas native, grew up on a dryland farm. After working on various land development and irrigation projects in Texas, California and South America, and graduating with a degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University, Earl returned to southwest Kansas with a pioneering spirit.

In 1947, Earl and his wife Denelda moved to Garden City, Kansas. He sought more sophisticated irrigation methods that resulted in the vast production of feed grains. The grain surplus, combined with the moderate climate, inspired Earl to build the state’s first commercial feedyard in October 1951.

For more than 65 years, Brookover Feed Yards has been feeding cattle. After Earl’s death in 1985, the management of the feedyard was passed to his son, E.C., and grandson, Ty. To this day, it remains a family-owned operation that is dedicated to excellence, the community, and the people that represent them.

 

 Jeff Biegert CFHOF Photo

Jeff Biegert
Midwest PMS

From the small town of Shickley, Nebraska, Jeff Biegert was born into agriculture where he grew up under the Midwest motto of “hard work never killed anybody.” He attended Texas Christian University, majoring in business, and post-college worked in Houston helping to build a large chain of daycare centers.

In 1976, Jeff moved back to Nebraska where he started a liquid feed manufacturing and cattle-feeding company called Biegert Feeds. Now known as Midwest PMS, the business has grown into 10 manufacturing sites and employs over 150 people across Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado, Texas, Iowa and South Dakota. Jeff has owned extensive ranching properties throughout the Midwest and is a founding partner of Power Genetics, a seed stock company.  He maintains ownership in Fort Kearney Feeders, a 58,000-head operation and North Platte Feeders, an 82,000-head operation.

 

 

 

 

2016 Inductees

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Paul J. Brown
Cattle Empire

Paul Brown was drawn to western Kansas by the allure of good soil and the potential for irrigation. He started running cattle in 1961 to counteract the cyclical nature of farming. It was the start of a career that would allow Paul to make a name for himself as an honest, hardworking cattleman in southwest Kansas. In 1978, Paul transitioned the farming operation to his eldest son so he could focus on his newly purchased 4,000-head custom feedyard, Cattle Empire. Today, Cattle Empire has a one-time capacity of 245,500 head in five facilities, is the fifth largest feeding operation in the country, and is still family owned and operated. Paul and his wife, Evelyn have four children, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

 

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Robert G. “Bob” Gottsch
Gottsch Cattle Company 

Bob Gottsch grew up on farms in eastern Nebraska during the Great Depression. After high school, he served in the U.S. military police in Germany. When he returned from World War II, Bob tried college, but didn’t like it – he wanted to be working. Bob and his brother hauled corn and cattle and delivered fuel around Elkhorn for a few years, then started feeding cattle on a leased lot. Bob fed other people’s cattle until he could afford his own. Bob expanded his Elkhorn feedlot through the years and added a location in Red Cloud, Nebraska, where he eventually had 42,000 head. He partnered with Ken Morrison in the 40,000-head Juniata (Nebraska) Feedyard and added a Kansas feedyard that exceeded 50,000 head. Bob Gottsch died in 2002. His sons have continued to build the business.

 

 

 

2015 Inductees

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Loren Doll
Irsik and Doll

Loren Doll has been in the cattle-feeding business since 1961, when he and his father, Fred Doll, partnered with three Irsik brothers to construct and operate Ingalls Feed Yard. This feedyard grew from a one-time feeding capacity of 2,500 head to 40,000 head. Becoming the managing partner and chief executive officer of Irsik and Doll in 1968, Loren was instrumental in leading the company's growth. Today, the company operates seven commercial cattle feedyards in western Kansas with a one-time total feeding capacity of 215,000 head.  

 

 Josserand

Robert Josserand
AzTx Cattle Co.

Robert D. Josserand, a native of Pratt, Kansas, is the owner of AzTx Cattle Co., which includes two feedyards in Texas and Kansas.Bob served on the boards of directors of the National Livestock and Meat Board in Chicago, Beef Industry Council, Texas Cattle Feeders Association and National Cattlemen's Association. He is a past president of Texas Cattle Feeders Association and National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

 

 

2014 Inductees

J. R. “Jack” Simplot
J.R. Simplot Company

Jack Simplot revolutionized the food industry with the first commercially viable frozen french fries, carved a cattle empire out of sage brush and desert, and built a $6 billion agribusiness that employs more than 10,000 people worldwide. Today, his company’s land and livestock holdings include extensive farm and ranch properties in the western United States with two large feedyards, nearly 40 farms and more than a dozen ranches.

 

 Roy Dinsdale Final CROP

Roy Dinsdale
Dinsdale Brothers Inc.

In 1948, Roy Dinsdale received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Nebraska and returned to the family’s cattle operation in Palmer, Nebraska. In the six decades since, Roy has nurtured Dinsdale Brothers into a large, diverse company involved in cattle feeding, ranching, farming, banking and other ag-related businesses. Third- and fourth-generation Dinsdales now oversee the 75,000 head of cattle located in Colorado and Nebraska, while Roy still keeps a watchful eye on the Palmer feedyard.

 

2013 Inductees

2013-leo-timmermanLeo -timmerman -new

After marrying Irene Meister, Leo Timmerman started farming with three milk cows and two dozen chickens. Leo and Irene lived off the money from the eggs and cream, but Leo found this farming practice lonely and slow-paced. During this time he bought two or three head of cattle, which began a successful career in the cattle-feeding business. A banker loaned him money to purchase six head of cattle then Leo made enough to buy another 25. In 1945, he quit raising milk cows and chickens and purchased a feedyard in Omaha that served as the foundation for his business.

 

 

2013-louis-dinklageLouis -dinklage -new

Louis Dinklage’s vision for the cattle-feeding industry helped him become one of the most well-respected cattle feeders in America. Born in 1902, Louis never could have imagined that by the late 1960’s he would be considered the country’s largest cattle feeder. He influenced both the cattle-feeding industry and the community, as he mentored many young cattle feeders, setting them on the road to success.

 

 

2012 Inductees

Rebholtz Robert -bob -rebholtz
As founder, owner and chairman, Bob displayed exceptional vision and leadership. He created a company that includes livestock breeding and ranching, commercial feeding, nutritional solutions, and beef processing. Under his command, Agri Beef Co. gave considerable focus to promoting sustainability throughout all organizational entities.

 

 

Willard -r -sparks
Willard's passion for livestock and grain laid the foundation for his life within American agriculture. He was regarded as a leading agricultural economist, a cultivating businessman and a humble philanthropist.

 



2011 Inductees


As Chairman of the Board for the Beef Marketing Group and President of Innovative Livestock Services, Lee Borck has been instrumental in developing a unique approach to meeting retail customer needs through innovative alignment between the producer and the meat case.

 

 


Dave Wood is one of the most recognized cattlemen in the cattle-feeding business, and during his 40 years at Harris Farms, Inc., he helped make the Harris name a household word.

 



2010 Inductees


Ladd Hitch was an innovator in the cattle-feeding industry and one of the first feedyard owners to install large concrete silo pits and introduce one of the first irrigation systems in Oklahoma.

 

 


Kenneth Monfort revolutionized the cattle-feeding industry by building a packing plant in cattle-feeding country and inventing boxed beef to sell to foodservice and retail professionals.

 



2009 Inductees


In a cattle-feeding industry filled with hard workers and entrepreneurs, Paul Engler stands out for accomplishments both large and lasting.

 

 


Many in the cattle-feeding industry see William D. ("W.D.") Farr as the founding father of our modern industry.