In an emotional and inspirational event Thursday evening in Denver, the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame inducted four individuals who have left lasting marks on the American beef industry. The hall’s fifth annual banquet celebrated the colorful history of cattle feeding in the United States, with an eye toward the future of an industry these individuals helped make possible.
Leo O. Timmerman and Louis Dinklage were inducted into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame, a distinguished program honoring an elite class of visionaries and leaders in cattle feeding. Additionally, Harry Knobbe was presented with the Industry Leadership Award, and Edward “Mike” McMillan was recognized with the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award, which recognizes exceptional feedyard employees.
Jim Miles, fed cattle segment marketing manager with Merck Animal Health—a Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame founding partner—says the banquet is more than an awards presentation. “Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was created to honor those who made significant strides so that future generations can continue the time-honored traditions of cattle feeding,” says Miles. “Cattle feeding is many times a thankless job, so we are privileged to devote a night to thank the individuals who help bring safe, wholesome beef to America.”
2013 Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Inductees
The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was established to honor the exceptional individuals who have made lasting contributions to the cattle-feeding industry. This year, Timmerman and Dinklage were among five individuals selected by the nominating committee. The slated nominees were then voted on by their peers.
Leo O. Timmerman (1913 – 1997), Timmerman & Sons Feeding Co. Inc. – 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee
Leo O. Timmerman started farming with three milk cows and two dozen chickens. Soon after, he bought three head of cattle, sparking a successful career in the cattle-feeding business. By 1950, Timmerman had his own grain and cattle trucks and was able to sell his cattle directly to the meat-packing companies, marking the first step in the decentralization of cattle marketing and meat packing.
Because of his knowledge and experience, Timmerman was able to pasture cattle for feedyards in Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Louisiana. By 1970his operation had reached more than 20,000-head capacity. A year later, he sold the business to his four sonsbut continued in the business by dividing his time between Omaha, Neb., and Scottsdale, Ariz., and trading commodities and feed cattle in Nebraska, Colorado and Arizona. Cattle feeding was a major part of Timmerman’s life until his death in 1997.
Louis Dinklage (1902 – 1984), Louis Dinklage Inc.– 2013 Hall of Fame Inductee
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, Dinklage 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.
When Dinklage started his operation with 30 head of cattle, he ran his first herd out on pasture, cut down green corn stalks and threw them into the pen by hand. By the late 1930’s, he had expanded to feeding 4,000 head of cattle with just a scoop shovel and a team of horses. Dinklage had a goal of feeding 1,000 head, but little did he know, he eventually would surpass that goal and run a feedyard with more than 65,000 cattle a year. Five feedyards still operate under men who worked for, or were mentored by Dinklage before he died in 1984. Dinklage was a mentor to many and an inspiration to all, and his legacy for leading others will resonate in the cattle feeding industry for many years to come.
2013 Industry Leadership Award Recipient
The Industry Leadership Award is a prestigious award that recognizes individualswho have demonstrated outstanding leadership, provided exemplary service and have made significant contributions to the advancement of the cattle-feeding business.
Harry Knobbe has dedicated the past 50-plus years of his life 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.
His passion and dedication to the industry is reflected in his many appointments with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association—including serving as vice chairman, chairman and executive officer for many committees and councils. Knobbe remains active in the industry at the age of 73 … and he doesn’t plan to slow down any time soon.
2013 Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award Recipient
The Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award was developed by the Hall of Fame to recognize feedyard employees who go above and beyond the call of duty to help improve the cattle-feeding community.
Mike McMillan has dedicated more than 40 years to the cattle-feeding business. A Marine, McMillan began in the industry in 1971 as a cattle checker on Monfort’s original feedyard north of Greeley, Colo. He quickly began working his way up the company while working on bachelor’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. An innovative thinker, McMillan was on a quest to conserve water and was instrumental in designing and building the first tank overflow filter/treatment stations under the ConAgra ownership before the sustainability movement was even a thought.
McMillan helped transform the JBS Five Rivers Kuner Feedlot into one of the most efficient feedyards in the world. His compassion and commitment to the company, crews and cattle is evident in his mentoring and teaching of others, which helped shape them into hardworking employees and leaders.
About the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame
The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame was established in 2009 to recognize and honor outstanding men and women in the cattle-feeding community. Founding partners of the Hall of Fame include Merck Animal Health, Drovers/CattleNetwork and OsbornBarr.
Contributing banquet sponsors for 2013 included: Creekstone Farms, DV Auctions, Greeley Hat Works, iNet Solutions Group, MS Biotec, Z®Tags, Zoetis and Zinpro Performance Minerals®.
Additional information about the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame and the 2013 honorees can be found at cattlefeeders.org andwww.facebook.com/cattlefeeders.