By Frank J. Buchman
College friends and professors become friends for a lifetime, truly a part of one’s family.
Appropriately, that’s why the Animal Science & Industries Department (AS&I) at Kansas State University in Manhattan is planning a big get-together this Friday evening.
As appropriate, the shindig is planned as the K-State AS&I Family & Friends Reunion.
“So popular was the first such event last year, the second reunion has been scheduled October. 7, to welcome alumni and friends back to campus” according to Angie Denton, KSU AS&I communications coordinator.
“At the Stanley Stout Center, everybody will have an opportunity to re-connect with friends, faculty, staff and students,” Denton said.
Perhaps most importantly, everyone has been welcomed to attend, she added. Although, an earlier pre-registration had been requested, there’s still ample time to sign-up to assure there’s plenty of great Kansas food to go around.
“This event celebrates the K-State Animal Sciences & Industry family and gives us the opportunity to thank our industry friends for decades of contributions to animal agriculture,” said Kenneth G. Odde, head of the Animal Science Department.
“Last year, more than 1,100 participants attended the inaugural event, and we hope to have more family and friends join us this year,” Odde especially invited.
Starting at 5:30 p.m., there’ll be delicious Kansas grown beef, pork, chicken and lamb, with live entertainment by Rusty Rierson, KSU AS&I alumnus and noted country music artist.
“A Junior Wildcat Barnyard area has been designed for the youngest members of the AS&I family,” Denton said.
The “best band in the land,” the reigning Sudler Trophy Award winner, the K-State Marching Band, will present a concert.
“Following the band’s performance, attendees will participate in the ‘Wildcat Walk,’ as the band forms an aisle for attendees to enter the Stout Center led by Willie and the kids,” Odde said.
The evening will be capped off with presentation of the Don L. Good Impact Award to the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) program and recognition of K-State alumni who have contributed to the brand’s success.
Presented by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council Inc. (LMIC), the award is named in honor of Good, a former K-State AS&I department head, and recognizes positive impact on the livestock and meat industry or agriculture.
“The Livestock and Meat Industry Council is very proud to honor CAB with this year’s Don L. Good Impact award,” said Craig Good, LMIC president. “I think that it would be difficult to think of an entity that has had a more profound impact on the beef and food industry than CAB and the many people with K-State ties who have had a big part in this success.”
In the mid-1970s, the future was dim for consumers who had grown up eating high-quality beef. Economic pressures, combined with the lowering of USDA beef quality grade standards in 1976, resulted in high variability in the Choice grade, according to Good.
“The CAB brand, based on high-quality carcass characteristics, was developed to reduce variability and reassure customers they were getting the best beef available. In 1978, the first CAB packer was licensed, and the first pound of product was sold,” Good said.
CAB’s original mission statement remains in place today: “Increase demand for registered Angus cattle through a specification-based, branded-beef program to identify consistent, high quality beef with superior taste.”
“The program has grown to include more than 17,500 licensed partners in 52 countries. The brand’s global partners generate an estimated $6.9 billion in consumer sales annually,” Good said.
“The Department of Animal Sciences and Industry is excited to join with LMIC in recognizing Certified Angus Beef LLC for its contributions to the beef industry,” Odde insisted.
Registration and additional information about the K-State AS&I Friends and Family Reunion is available at www.asi.k-state.edu/familyandfriends.