A car commercial some years back used to claim, “This isn't your grandfather's Oldsmobile.” Something similar could be said about the beef industry, although it would have to be modified to something like: “This isn't your father's beef industry.”

Fifteen years ago, less than a generation, BEEF celebrated its 25th anniversary of publication. On that occasion, we honored 25 beef industry folks in a retrospective piece entitled “25 Who Made A Difference.”

Via nominations by readers and final selections by an independent panel of judges representing various industry organizations, BEEF recognized 25 individuals who played influential roles in shaping the beef industry of that time. The list included producers, educators, researchers, beef promotion workhorses, champions of beef industry causes, marketing wizards, genetic gurus and association execs.

In the 15 years since that 25th anniversary issue the pace of change has accelerated to a dizzying level. In 1989, there were promising newcomers, nascent programs, and plenty of undreamed-of ideas, that would ultimately deliver some big consequences for the U.S. beef industry of today.

Who among us just 15 years ago, would have conceived of the scope of change evident in 2004 across such a wide spectrum from beef demand to industry structure to genetics to marketing to production efficiency to government regulation, etc.?

September 2004 marks the celebration of the 40th year of publication for BEEF magazine. As one feature of special coverage planned for the commemorative September issue, the editorial staff wants to recognize the industry's top contributors of the past 40 years. These are the folks — professional or volunteer — who shepherded the causes, conducted the research, lobbied the halls, built the prototypes, and educated the generations that led to the dynamically evolving industry we have today.

The “BEEF Top 40” will recognize the top 40 contributors to the modern state of the beef business. The candidates will be nominated by readers, with final selection of the BEEF Top 40 made by an independent panel of judges.

Eligible are producers, be they seedstockers, commercial folks or cattle feeders; marketers; animal scientists; agribusiness folks or other individuals allied to beef cattle. Feel free to nominate as many individuals as you feel are worthy of this recognition. Here's how:

Take a few minutes to type answers to the questions that follow on the individual you want to see honored, and drop the nomination in the mail to:

The BEEF Top 40 BEEF Magazine 7900 International Dr., Suite 300 Minneapolis, MN 55425

Or, you can go to our Web site at www.beef-mag.com, fill out the form and submit it electronically.

In nominating your top candidates, provide us with the person's name, title, important accomplishments, a brief background and why you consider their contributions important to the U.S. beef industry. The documentation needn't be voluminous but make sure you include enough information that judges can easily grasp the scope of your candidate's role contribution to the modern U.S. beef industry.

The deadline is July 1.

Dates Set For Beef ID Academy

Seats are still available for the BEEF ID Academy seminars of June 2-3, June 14-15, July 19-20 and Aug. 2-3 in Manhattan, KS. Led by Kansas State University's (KSU) Dale Blasi with help from 17 of the top U.S. animal ID suppliers, the seminars will teach participants about current individual animal ID issues; proposed standards; electronic ID system components, hardware and software selection, Statistical Process Control principles, and how to apply the concepts to commercial software programs. Find out more at www.beefacademy.com.