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Award Winners

BIF Recognizes Innovators in the Beef Industry

News release by Katie Allen for the Beef Improvement Association

COLUMBIA, MO. (JUNE 30, 2010) — Four individuals were honored for their pioneering methods in raising beef cattle at the 2010 Annual Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Research Symposium and Meeting. The Pioneer Awards were presented at a luncheon June 30th.

“When you think of a pioneer, you think about settlers moving west and overcoming obstacles,” said Ben Eggers, co-chair for the BIF conference. “In the same way, these [pioneers] have led our beef industry through difficult times.”

The first pioneer award was presented to Montrose, Mo., natives John and Bettie Rotert, who have raised cattle since 1956. What started out as one registered Angus heifer grew into a partnership with Bob Harriman and the development of Rotert/Harriman Full Service Genetic Providers.The farm currently has an Angus, Gelbvieh and Simmental crossbreeding system and sells about 300 bulls per year.

Not only have the Roterts dedicated their lives to producing great cattle, they have also been active in the beef industry and have attended BIF meetings for more than 40 years. Blind since age 21, John has found much success and gained much admiration in the industry for his ability to know what it takes to raise cattle without the use of his sight.

“John served as an inspiration to many stockmen who are continually amazed at his ability to analyze conformation in cattle with the touch of his hands,” said Eggers, who recognized the Roterts as recipients of the Pioneer Award during the luncheon.

The second pioneer award was presented to Glen Klippenstein of Glenkirk Farms in Maysville, Mo. Glenkirk Farms was a premier producer of Polled Hereford seedstock and produced many national champions and multi-trait leaders. Klippenstein not only tends to business on his farm, but he has also played instrumental roles in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Cattlemen’s Beef Board, American Polled Hereford Association and American Chianina Association. Klippenstein has been involved politically, serving as a senator for the state of Missouri.

“He has traveled more, spoken more, visited more beef herds, judged more shows, motivated more youth and promoted the beef industry both domestically and globally more than anyone can imagine,” said Darla Eggers, member of the BIF conference planning committee.

The third award was given to Richard McClung, who has served as managing partner at Wehrmann Angus in New Market, Va., since 1978. After completing his animal science degree at West Virginia University in 1964, McClung worked for many cattle operations with the goal to produce “complete” cattle — those with low birth weight expected progeny differences (EPDs), enough milk, adequate growth with a moderate frame size, good fleshing ability and positive carcass merit from muscle, marbling and pounds. His dedication to Wehrmann Angus helped the operation win BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year in 1997.

“He has devoted his life’s work in the pursuit for cattle that excel for traits and add profitability to the business,” said Brian House of Select Sires Inc. and BIF board member.

The final award was presented to beef Extension educator and researcher Daryl Strohbehn, who has served as a state Extension beef specialist at Iowa State University for 34 years. Known by colleagues as "Stroh," his research has spanned across many different areas, including reproduction, nutrition, genetics and production economics. His many contributions on a national scale have included developing Beef Cow Business Records, which have become a part of the NCBA’s National Standardized Performance Analysis; the Midwest Beef Cattle Handbook; and BRaNDS (Beef Ration and Nutrition Decisions Software). He has garnered respect among his peers for his research and efforts to move Extension forward.

“He’s the guy in the group who makes the synergism happen,” said Bob Weaber, co-chaiman for the BIF conference.

The award winners were given plaques to recognize their accomplishments in serving as beef industry pioneers.


The Beef Improvement Federation has been a means to standardize programs and methodology and to create greater awareness, acceptance and usage of beef cattle performance concepts for more than 40 years. The 42nd Annual BIF Research Symposium and Meeting, conducted this year in Columbia, Mo., was hosted by the University of Missouri Extension and other cattle producers, organizations and leaders in the state. For more information about BIF and the conference, log on to www.BIFconference.com or www.beefimprovement.org.

Editor’s Note: This article is provided as a news release by the Beef Improvement Federation. For more information, contact Katie Allen.

For additional 2010 BIF Award Winners, see the "Awards" page at www.BIFconference.com. API coverage of the 42nd BIF Research Symposium and Annual Meeting is available in the site's "Newsroom," with photo galleries of the tours and meeting located on the "Photos" page.This site contains materials with various copyrights. Please refer to the "Reprint Guidelines" for guidance.

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