Fall Focus

Fall Focus 2019

Fall Focus 2019

Fall Focus 2019

Co-hosted by the Kansas Simmental and the American Simmental Associations at the Hilton Garden Inn and Manhattan Conference Center, Manhattan, Kansas


Welcome Gordon Hodges, ASA Chairman of the Board of Trustees

Opening Comments Dr. Michael Dikeman, Kansas State University


Gordon A. Hodges

ASA Chairman of the Board Owner/Operator Pineview Farms Genetic and Marketing Manager, Gibbs Farms

Hodges, who has served on the ASA Board of Trustees twice, once in 1990 and again starting in 2014, has been breeding Simmental cattle since 1970. He is the owner/operator of Pineview Farms, with a SimAngusTM and Simmental seedstock herd of 60 cows, located at the base of the Appalachian Mountains, while also serving as Genetic and Marketing Manager for Gibbs Farms, a SimAngus and Simmental operation of 800 head at Ranburne, Alabama.

An experienced sales manager, he has been an active member and officer in the North Carolina Simmental Association. As an ASA Trustee, he was chairman of the Breed Improvement Committee and was involved in the FOCUS 2000 Conference and implementation of Multi-breed EPDs. He holds a B.S. in Animal Science and Agricultural Education from North Carolina State University. Hodges and his wife, Melissa, are the parents of two grown children, Spencer, 32; Juliana, 28; and grandparents of two-year-old Sloane.


Michael Dikeman, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus Kansas State University

A native Kansan, Dr. Michael Dikeman held a meat science teaching and research position at K-State for 42 years. Dikeman began breeding Simmentals in 1971 and has served as the president of the Kansas Simmental Association and advisor to the Kansas Junior Simmental Association. He served six years on the ASA Board of Trustees and is a past recipient of the World Simmental-Fleckvieh Federation Golden Book Award. In addition, Dikeman co-led the NCBA-funded tenderness project with Dr. John Pollock. This research led to the development of EPDs for tenderness (shear force) published by ASA. Dikeman and his wife, Earline, have a son and daughter and are grandparents to one grown granddaughter and new twin grandchildren.




Moderated by Dr. Lauren Hyde

Genetics of Fertility Drs. Bob Weaber, Megan Rolf, and Jennifer Bormann, Kansas State University

Novel Trait Advancements Drs. Bob Weaber, Megan Rolf, and Jennifer Bormann, Kansas State University




Bob Weaber, Ph.D.

Professor and Extension Specialist Kansas State University

Dr. Bob Weaber joined the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry at Kansas State University in August 2011 as Cow-Calf Extension Specialist and faculty coordinator of K-State’s Purebred Unit. Weaber also serves on the faculty management team for K-State’s Beef Cattle Institute. Weaber serves as central regional secretary of the Beef Improvement Federation, is a co-coordinator of the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium education programs and has served as a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Policy Division Board of Directors. The focus of his extension and research programs have been to broaden the availability, use, and understanding of genetic selection tools (Expected Progeny Differences, DNA markers and selection indexes) as well as performance data collection schemes implemented by cattle producers.

Weaber and his wife, Tami, and their young children, Maddie, Cooper and Wyatt, reside near Wamego, KS.



Megan Rolf, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Animal Breeding Kansas State University

Dr. Megan Rolf was raised on a cow/calf operation in east-central Kansas and has been involved with livestock her entire life. She received a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Kansas State University and a M.S. degree in animal science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She also earned her Ph.D. in Genetics at the University of Missouri, where her research focused on the implementation of genomic evaluations in crossbred beef cattle. After graduation, Rolf was on faculty at Oklahoma State University for four years, where she served as a state extension beef specialist. She joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 2016 as an Assistant Professor of Animal Breeding with a 60% research and 40% teaching appointment. She currently teaches genetics and maintains an active research program in the use of genomics for genetic improvement in livestock.


Jennifer Bormann, Ph.D.Jennifer Bormann, Ph.D.

Professor Quantitative Genetics Kansas State University

Originally from Muscatine, IA, Dr. Jennifer Minick Bormann grew up with horses and Shorthorn cattle. She earned a B.S. in Animal Science from Iowa State University in 1997, an M.S. in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in 1999, and a Ph.D. in Animal Breeding and Genetics from Iowa State University in 2004. She joined the faculty at Kansas State University in 2004 with a 75% teaching and 25% research appointment. Bormann specializes in beef breeding and genetics and has worked on a number of projects, including collaborations with NCBA and breed associations. Currently, she teaches Genetics, Animal Breeding Principles, Advanced Animal Breeding, Equine Genetics and Introductory Horse Lab, and advises undergraduate students.



Session II

Moderated by Dr. Jackie Atkins

New developments in IGS Multi-breed Genetic Evaluation, Dr. Lauen Hyde

Session III

Moderated by Dr. Wade Shafer

Panel Discussion: The Showring’s Role in the Beef Industry Panelists include: Dr. Bob Hough, Dr. Scott Shaake, Donnell Brown, Tim Smith, and John Griswold

Bob Hough, Ph.D.Bob Hough, Ph. D.

Former CEO, RAAA and EVP, NALF Freelance writer and author of several books including Simmental’s American Journey

Dr. Bob Hough served as Red Angus Association of America’s (RAAA) Executive Director for 10 years. His other experience includes managing an Angus operation, serving as an Extension specialist, and as the Executive Vice President for Limousin. He is now retired and a freelance writer. He has authored three books: Simmental’s American Journey, Breeds of Cattle, and The History of Red Angus. He also is a regular contributor to the Western Livestock Journal with articles specializing on genetics. He posts weekly cattle history lessons on social media regarding ideal cattle type over time. Hough has coached intercollegiate livestock judging teams; served on the management committee for the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest for 24 years; and served as a beef official at the Eastern States, Houston, and Louisville intercollegiate livestock judging contests. He also has judged shows in 15 states, four Canadian provinces, as well as Brazil and Paraguay and was the superintendent of the Eastern States Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest. 



Tim SmithTim Smith

Immediate past Chairman ASA Board of Trustees Owner/Operator Smith Genetics

Tim Smith, ASA’s Immediate-past Chairman of the Board of Trustees, has served on the Board since 2012, previously served as Treasurer on the Executive Committee and as Chairman in 2018. Smith is the owner/operator of Smith Genetics, Giddings, Texas. He has been affiliated with Simmental and Simbrah cattle for more than 35 years. His operation includes 300 Simmental, Simbrah, and SimAngus females. In addition, Smith operates a custom artificial insemination and embryo transfer center. His involvement with SimGenetics started in 1980 after completing a Master of Science in Ruminant Nutrition from the University of Kentucky. Smith co-founded the SimbrahSimmental Superbowl, hosts and coordinates the Synergy Sale and Showcase, and also hosts a weekend junior leadership and cattle exhibiting camp to assist juniors in showing and building their breeding programs. Smith is joined in ownership of the cattle program by Joel Isgrig and his daughter, Haley Smith.


Scott Schaake, Ph.D.

Associate Professor Beef Cattle Production and Management Kansas State University

Dr. Scott Schaake was raised on a cow-calf ranch/row crop operation near Lawrence, Kansas. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1984 with a B.S. in Animal Sciences and Industry. He earned his M.S. at Clemson University and Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky, specializing in Meat Science. He served as the coach of the Kansas State Livestock Judging Team from 1992 to 2013, leading his teams to five consecutive national championships during his tenure. Schaake has judged livestock shows in 40 states, Canada, Mexico, and South America.

He and his wife, Kandi, live in Westmoreland, Kansas, where they manage more than 80 head of registered Simmental cattle. Their program utilizes an extensive AI and ET program designed around successful, proven cow families. They take pride in building their herd around cattle that are sound, functional, and display genetic excellence not only in the show ring but most importantly when put in production. His children: Shane, his wife, Melissa, and Shilo remain actively involved in the growth of Schaake Farms and assist with the marketing of their genetics.


John GriswoldJohn Griswold

Griswold Cattle, Stillwater, OK ASA Trustee

Griswold Cattle runs registered Simmental, Angus, and Maintainer cows. They hold two annual sales, selling 400 females in December, and 200 bulls and several females each April. They market semen on their herd sires and genetics across the US, and sell fed steers, depending on the cattle market. Griswold has been involved in many aspects of the business, which shapes his decisions as a seedstock producer. He recently completed a three-year term on the American Maine-Anjou Association Board and was elected to the ASA Board of Trustees in 2018. Griswold grew up in Wisconsin on a third-generation cattle operation. His family sold their farm and came to Oklahoma when Griswold was 17.

Griswold graduated from Oklahoma State University, and while there he started acquiring cattle that he knew he could make a base out of. He loved Stillwater and decided to stay and started out by purchasing 30 acres. He slowly built his cow herd and ranch. In 2001, Griswold and his brother Greg purchased 1,300 head from Birkland’s of Dupree, South Dakota. They spent 11 years in Dupree before dispersing those cattle to focus more on the cattle that resided in Oklahoma. Griswold and his wife, Jeannie, have three children: Maggie, Garrett, and Jack.


Donnell BrowhDonnell Brown

Owner/Manager R.A. Brown Ranch, Throckmorton, TX  

Donnell Brown and his wife Kelli are the fifth generation to own and manage the R.A. Brown Ranch in Throckmorton, TX, a family business since 1895. They raise registered SimAngusTM, Red Angus, and Angus cattle and sell 800 bulls annually as well as registered and commercial females in their auctions every March and October.

Donnell has served in a strategic planning capacity for four different breed associations as well as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. He has served two terms as Chairman of the IGS Joint Technical Advancement Committee. He has been a PTP judge for many years and has judged several Regional Classics and the ASA National Pen Show in Denver on two occasions. He was the first to use EPDs in judging the National Angus Show in Louisville, KY and in Australia. In 2017, he served as President of the Beef Improvement Federation. Donnell and his wife, Kelli, both served as National FFA Presidents. Kelli also served as President of the Red Angus Association of America. They are blessed with two sons, Tucker and Lanham, who have joined them in their family ranching business. Together they are living their dream of raising cows, kids, and Quarter Horses.


Session IV

Moderated by Chip Kemp

How to Help Commercial Cattle Operations be Successful Charly Cummings, Superior Livestock Auctions

Feedyard Perspectives, Recipe for a Profitable Feeder Calf Craig Uden, Darr Feedlot


Craig UdenCraig Uden Darr

Feedlot, Inc. Past NCBA President

A fourth-generation cattleman from Elwood, NE, Craig Uden has always been active in helping shape the ever-challenging and changing beef industry. Uden is a partner in Darr Feedlot Inc., a commercial cattle feeding operation in central Nebraska, and is currently serving as NCBA Past President. Uden and his wife, Terri, also own and manage three commercial cow-calf operations.

Craig and Terri have a daughter, Blair, who is involved in agribusiness and she and her husband own a registered Red Angus operation in Minnesota. His son, Andrew, and his wife work on the family operation helping oversee the cow-calf operation. In addition, Andrew works with his own high-tech animal information company.



Charly CummingsCharly Cummings

Auctioneer Superior Livestock Auctions 

Charly Cummings is a native of southeast Kansas. He grew up helping his parents on the farm and his uncle with his local household farm auction business. Cummings soon discovered that bid calling was something that came naturally to him. With the encouragement of his uncle, he attended the World Wide College of Auctioneering in Mason City, Iowa at age 15. He continued to assist his uncle and increasingly took part in the bid calling as his skills improved.

Cummings has a love for cattle and so his auctioneering profession took him to the sale barn. He started selling at age 21 at the Eureka Livestock Auction in Eureka, Kansas. Since then he has auctioneered at several area livestock barns including Fort Scott Livestock Market, Anderson County Sales, Mo-Kan Livestock Market, SEK Livestock, Coffeyville Livestock Market, and many others throughout Kansas and the Midwest. In 2011 he started working for Superior Livestock Auction as a representative for livestock buyers and sellers in the area. In 2012, Cummings reached his ultimate goal of being a full-time auctioneer for Superior and has been able to travel all over the US to represent the largest livestock auction in the country.

Charly is a steward to all facets of the live-stock marketing world and enjoys educating about the importance of value-added programs to producers, and considerations when preparing to market their cattle. Charly is an advocate for the auction method of marketing and keeping true price discovery as the focus of selling cattle on any day.


Ken Odde, Ph.D.Ken Odde

Ph.D., D.V.M. Professor Kansas State University

Ken Odde has spent his career serving the animal industry including serving as head of K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry from 2007-2018. During his tenure as department head, undergraduate enrollment grew from 793 students in 2007 to 1,226 students in 2017 while also increasing faculty and research productivity. Under his leadership, $32 million in new and renovated facilities were added to the department.

Odde earned a bachelor’s degree at South Dakota State University prior to serving as an officer and platoon leader in the U.S. Army. He later obtained a master’s degree and then simultaneously completed veterinary and doctoral degrees at Kansas State University.

Dr. Odde initiated the Superior Livestock Database in 1995. The database now includes 24 years of continuous data, providing for research capacity to better understand trends in factors influencing feeder cattle value.

Odde and his wife, Arlene, maintain active roles in the management of their South Dakota ranch. The couple has three grown children and six grandchildren.


Ken Burton, DVM Kenneth Burton

D.V.M. Coordinator National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility

Dr. Ken Burton received a B.S. degree in Biology and a D.V.M. degree from Kansas State University. Prior to employment at K-State in 2010, he owned and operated the Lyons Veterinary Clinic in Lyons, Kansas, providing rural Rice County residents with companion-animal and food-animal production veterinary medicine and surgery for 29 years. Until October of 2018, Burton served as the Director of Project Coordination for the Biosecurity Research Institute at Kansas State University. Burton also served as Program Director for the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center (NABC) at Kansas State from 2010 to 2018. He served as principal investigator and co-principal investigator on multiple projects involving trans-boundary animal disease response planning, training, and education at the state and local levels. In October 2018, Burton became the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility Coordinator for the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. He is a member of the USDA NBAF transition leadership team, coordinating the move of programs from the retiring Plum Island Animal Disease Center in New York to the new NBAF facility in Manhattan, Kansas.


Bill Snyder

Former Football Coach Kansas State University

The winningest coach in the history of Kansas State football with a 215-117-1 record, Bill Snyder left Kansas State as the 20th winningest coach in FBS history and currently ranks second among active FBS coaches in wins. Under Snyder, Kansas State was the third-winningest program in the Big 12 with 104 total league wins since the league was formed in 1996.

In all, Snyder led K-State to 19 of the school’s 21 all-time bowl appearances, won two conference titles, achieved two No. 1 national rankings, coached players who received a total of 214 All-America honors, 13 Academic All-Americans, was a five-time national coach of the year and seven-time conference coach of the year and also became just the fourth active coach to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame (2015). In addition to rekindling an overwhelming sense of pride in K-State alumni and supporters from coast to coast, the winning culture he ushered in helped spark a University and community-wide revitalization as K-State’s enrollment blossomed from 18,120 when he was hired to a record of more than 24,000.

Snyder’s players were also some of the most decorated in the country. In his first 16 years, he produced three national award winners, 45 All-America selections, and 68 first-team all-conference honorees. The rebuilding effort and subsequent success engineered at Kansas State by Snyder clearly stands as one of the most amazing in all of college football.