Grid-based marketing didn’t just appear at out of the blue. Paul Engler, founding chairman of Texas-based Cactus Feeders – one of the largest cattle feeding organizations in the world – helped pioneer the concept. The aim was to both reward owners of above average cattle and to give his feedlot managers more time to manage rather than bicker with order buyers.

“Throughout his career in the livestock business, Paul Engler has been dedicated to being a low-cost producer, while maintaining the highest level of quality,” the late Robert Peterson, former chairman and CEO of IBP, once said. “Nothing more actively demonstrates this than the many innovations and efficiencies that he and Cactus Feeders have helped bring to the cattle feeding industry…”

Likewise, the fence-line feed bunks taken for granted today weren’t a birthright. W.D. Farr, founder of Farr Feeders in Colorado came up with the notion.

“Before the feedbunks, workers would have to haul feed wagons into each pen manually. The ability to feed from outside the pens greatly improved efficiency and reduced feed waste,” says Dick Farr. “My father was usually about 25 years ahead of everyone else in his thinking.”

Incidentally, it was W.D. Farr who collaborated with his neighbor Warren Monfort in the 1940s to modify feed trucks to automate feed delivery.

These are just a couple of examples – minor ones, given the depth and breadth of their innovative careers – of why Farr and Engler are the first inductees into the new Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame (CFHF).

“Engler and Farr exemplify why the FHF was established,” says Betty Jo Gigot, chair of the CFHF nominating committee. “The Hall of Fame celebrates the rich traditions of the cattle-feeding industry and recognizes those who have devoted their careers to preserving its mission and improving its production practices.

“It’s a privilege to give the very first Hall of Fame awards to two gentlemen whose leadership and vision fueled inspiration and innovation that is still being carried out today.”