In anticipation of the state of Kansas’ sesquicentennial activities in 2011, Kansas State University is looking ahead to celebrating the history of the Kansas beef industry.


In anticipation of the state of Kansas’ sesquicentennial activities in 2011, Kansas State University is looking ahead to celebrating the history of the Kansas beef industry.

“We are requesting stories, histories and pictures regarding the beef industry in Kansas,” said Dan Thomson, associate professor and director of K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute.

Thomson and assistant professor Justin Kastner have assembled a group of history, animal science, public health and pre-vet students to help produce a book and online video series to coincide with Kansas’ 150th birthday in January 2011.

“We want to tell the stories of many of the people and institutions that have made Kansas beef what it is today,” Thomson said. “We would love for ranchers and feedlot owners across Kansas to share their stories.”

Thomson, who holds the Jones Professorship of Production Medicine in the College of Veterinary Medicine, invites submissions of stories, personal memories and company histories.

“Kansas is a world leader in beef,” Kastner said. “The state ranks second nationally in total cattle numbers and cattle on feed, and 16 of the 25 largest cattle feeders in the United States have facilities in Kansas. The Kansas beef industry is a critical part of the economy of Kansas; in 2005, cattle in Kansas produced $6.1 billion in receipts.”

A video, available at www.beefcattleinstitute.org and frontier.k-state.edu, previews the beef history project. The video is also available through iTunes.

Kastner said a new group of K-State students will be involved in “150 Years of Kansas Beef.” In addition to a photograph-rich book, video and audio podcasts are in store.

“This will be a student-centered project that will culminate in both a book and an online podcast series,” Kastner said. “We have put together a ‘dream team’ of graduate students and undergraduates from the Colleges of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, as well as the department of history.”

For more information, contact Justin Kastner, jkastner@k-state.edu, (785) 532-4820; or Dan Thomson dthomson@vet.k-state.edu, (785) 532-4254.

Stories, histories, personal memories and photographs for “150 Years of Kansas Beef” may be submitted to: Beef Cattle Institute (attn: 150 Years of Kansas Beef); College of Veterinary Medicine; Trotter 1D; Kansas State University; Manhattan, KS 66506.

Chris Gruber, director of development for the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine, is coordinating sponsorships. He can be reached at (785) 532-4465.