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Woolaroc Museum & Wildlife Refuge is the second tour stop on Wednesday, October 8.

Buford gate
Buford Ranches LLC is the third tour stop on Wednesday, October 8.

Limestone LLC is the fourth tour stop on Wednesday, October 8.

Visit our other API event sites:

Cattle Industry Annual Convention & NCBA Trade Show

Visit the API
topic site library,
offering gateways to information on body condition scoring, beef cow efficiency, country-of-origin labeling, targeting the Certified Angus Beef® brand and more.

Meet Your Speakers

Mark Allan | Dick Beck Jr. | William Herring | John Lawrence
Leo McDonnell Jr. | Don Meador | Deb Norton
| Paul Roach

John Lawrence

John Lawrence

John Lawrence is an Extension livestock economist and professor with the Department of Economics at Iowa State University. He has been the director of the Iowa Beef Center at ISU since 1998 and assistant director of the Iowa Agricultural and Home Economics Experiment Station since July 2004. His primary responsibilities include cattle and hog price outlook, livestock producer marketing and management decision-making, and livestock and meat industry structure.

More recently he has worked in environmental regulations and management systems for beef producers. He earned a doctorate in agricultural economics from the University of Missouri after receiving a master’s in economics and a bachelor’s in animal science, both from ISU.

Mark Allan

Mark Allan

Mark Allan spent his youth involved with horned and polled Hereford cattle as a member of Allan Fitting Service and Allan Herefords. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, he worked directly with purebred cow-calf production, first as the herdsman for Adams Brothers and Co., Kilgore, Neb., and later as the manager of Sullivan Limousin, Dunlap, Iowa. In 1997 he returned to graduate school and studied animal breeding where he used mouse models to understand the genetic basis of metabolism in livestock species.

Presently, Allan works as a member of the U.S. Meat Animal Research Center beef genetics team, mapping production traits in beef cattle. He is actively involved in the Beef Improvement Federation and stays active in the cattle business with Bar A Cattle Co., Schulenburg, Texas, owned by Dave and Becky Allan.

William Herring

William Herring

A Georgia native, William Herring grew up in a family farming and beef seedstock operation. He studied animal science and genetics at Auburn University and the University of Georgia. From 1994 to 2001, he was a member of the animal science faculty at the University of Missouri, and from 2001 to 2002, he was associate professor of genetics at the University of Florida. While at the University of Missouri and the University of Florida, Herring’s beef research and Extension programs involved the development and implementation of genetic selection strategies for profit improvement, including economic selection indexes, genetic evaluation of feed efficiency traits, evaluation of DNA markers for carcass and production traits, and implementation of genetic programs for integrated livestock production systems.

In October 2002 Herring joined Smithfield Premium Genetics, where he currently serves as technical operations manager. Smithfield Premium Genetics is responsible for providing the genetic inputs and improvement to the Smithfield Foods pork production system. His responsibilities include oversight of genetic evaluation programs, research and information systems.

Deb Norton

Deb Norton

For the past 16 years, Deb Norton and business partner Julie Tucker have assisted beef producers, breed associations and companies affiliated with production agriculture with marketing strategies through their company, Graphic Arts of Topeka Inc. As president and creative director of Graphic Arts, Norton serves as chief copywriter and is called upon to work with clients regarding long-range planning, branding, positioning and public relations.

A native of southwestern Oklahoma, Norton has been involved in ag marketing for more than 30 years. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in art education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Norton began her career in livestock marketing after a three-year stint as a high school classroom teacher. Norton has witnessed a complete turnaround in livestock marketing during her tenure, from a time when genetic predictability and the seedstock producer’s role in the food chain seemed irrelevant to realizing the importance of marketing a high-quality product that has value to the customer or consumer.

Dick Beck, Jr.

Dick Beck Jr.

Born near York, Penn., in 1953, Dick Beck Jr. grew up in a farming community and has been active in livestock production and marketing his entire life. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University, where he was heavily involved in livestock, meat and horse judging, as well as Block & Bridle and student government.

Beck has an array of experience in the industry and currently serves as general manager of Three Trees Ranch, Sharpsburg, Ga., which recorded the second-highest number of animals with the American Angus Association in 2007. Three Trees Ranch breeds and markets purebred Angus, Charolais and Red Angus genetics and is creating and marketing composites of those breeds.

Beck and his wife, Diane, are partners in ORIgen, a genetics marketing company based in Billings, Mont. They have worked together in professional livestock marketing; served as the secretary-manager of the Western States Angus Association; edited and published the Western States Angus News, the official publication of the organization; and served as the manager of the Western National Angus Futurity in Reno, Nev.

Beck worked as an Association regional manager and has managed several operations across the United States. He and Diane’s daughters, Jamie and Jennifer, were active in the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) and continue their involvement in the livestock industry.

Leo McDonnell, Jr.

Leo McDonnell Jr.

Leo McDonnell and his wife, Sam, along with son and daughter-in-law Steve and Lindsey Williams, own and operate Midland Bull Test in Columbus, Mont. McDonnell’s parents were instrumental in the performance movement in the early 1960s and founded Midland Bull Test in 1962.

Midland has since grown to become the largest performance test center in North America, testing about 2,000 bulls annually. Through a three-day bull sale in April, seedstock producers market bulls across the U.S. and internationally. Midland was one of the first seedstock programs to ultrasound bulls, starting in 1969-1970 in cooperation with Montana State University. Midland was also one of the early programs to start fertility testing young bulls and to publish scrotal sizes. Midland has adapted the GrowSafe System to individually test 800 bulls at a time, or a total of 3,200 annually, for feed efficiency.

McDonnell has chaired the Montana Cattle Feeders committee, led the Montana delegation to the American Angus Association Annual Meeting and founded Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund United Stockgrowers of America. He has testified at numerous Congressional and agency hearings. Under his guidance, R-CALF played roles in the introduction and passage of country-of-origin labeling in the 2002 Farm Bill, the first Cattle Chapter in a Farm Bill to address competition issues and interstate shipment of beef. McDonnell was also instrumental in passing legislation requiring all future trade agreements to have special rules for perishable and cyclical ag products including beef, resulting in the first beef-specific safeguards with the Australian free-trade agreement.

Don Meador

Don Meador

Don Meador is owner and manager of Dreamcatcher Ranch of San Marcos, Texas. His database-driven breeding program produces registered Angus seedstock for both commercial and registered breeders. The ranch business plan provides for the marketing of approximately 200 head of bulls and females annually. Greater than 95% of ranch production is the product of embryo transplant. All bulls and more than 90% of the females are sold before the age of 2. Additionally, all donors, the oldest registered animals at Dreamcatcher, sell before the age of 4.

Following a bachelor’s degree from Texas Tech University and a master’s degree in engineering and management from Oklahoma State University, Meador spent 30-plus years in various management positions with Procter and Gamble Manufacturing Co. Most of these emphasized the role that measurable, repeatable quality played in the value equation that everyone uses in their selection and continued use of consumer products. Meador has taken this experience, as well as his agricultural roots, to form a “second” career in the Angus seedstock business.

Paul Roach

Paul Roach

As director of meat for Reasor’s Inc., Paul Roach oversees all meat and seafood operations. He has also served on the Reasor’s board of directors for 15 years. He strives to maintain the best meat operation possible, and says quality remains the highest priority in Reasor’s total meat program. Roach has worked in the meat business for 43 years. His experience began with a meat cutter apprenticeship in high school. Since then he has worked at Scrivner Inc., Allied Foods and Safeway. Roach was hired as Reasor’s meat department manager in 1971. He has been meat director for 20 years.

Roach owns and operates a cattle and pecan ranch south of Tahlequah, Okla. He raises commercial Angus cattle and several hundred pecan trees. He is vice president of the board of directors for the Oklahoma Farm Bureau of Cherokee County. He also serves on the Certified Angus Beef LLC advisory board. In his spare time, Roach enjoys hunting, fishing and spending time with his family. He and his wife, Mary, have been married for 29 years. They have four children.

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