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3 Brave Thinkers Who Transformed Livestock

April 15, 2013

The livestock handling and meat processing industries have transformed because of the work and commitment to the industry of these three leaders.


To say that agriculture has experienced change since the inception of Top Producer is a gross understatement. The 30 brave thinkers we have chosen to represent the dramatic changes during the past three decades have all left big footprints on production agriculture.

Paul Engler. Founder of Cactus Feeders in Dumas, Texas, Engler created the first large-scale commercial feedlot and owns the world’s largest cattle feeding company. Engler is credited as the creator of formula pricing, a method that provides incentives to feeders to consistently produce beef that meets consumer health and quality standards.

Temple Grandin.
A professor and researcher of animal science at Colorado State University, Grandin has changed livestock handling facilities to reduce stress on animals. She has designed facilities in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Her designs are now used to handle half the cattle in the U.S., and she has been hired as a consultant to firms such as Burger King, Swift and McDonald’s. Additionally, her writings on the flight zone and other principles of grazing animal behavior have helped many people reduce stress on their animals during handling. Grandin is also known for developing an objective scoring system for assessing the handling of cattle and hogs at meat plants. This scoring system is used by many large corporations to improve animal welfare.

Ken Monfort.
As an executive of Monfort Inc., Monfort is responsible for first selling beef cuts, instead of the whole carcass, to markets and grocery stores in the 1970s. This practice revolutionized the meat processing industry, and through the years has become the industry standard, displacing butchers and meat counters. Today, no Wal-Mart in America, according to the North American Meat Association, has a meat counter. All cuts come prepared and packaged for the consumer to pick up off the shelf.


We know agriculture’s advancements in all its myriad forms have not been accomplished by just 30 people. Read the complete list: Brave Thinkers: 30 Leaders Who Made a Difference

Who advanced agriculture the most during the past 30 years?
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