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Industry leaders inducted into Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame

Legendary cattle producers from Nebraska, Kansas and Texas join cattle feeding luminaries in New Orleans.

Jennifer M. Latzke, Editor

February 21, 2023

3 Min Read
Family group behind woman holding plaque
FAMILY LEGACY: Members of the Ed Barrett family gather with his plaque, inducting Barrett into the 2023 class of the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame, Jan. 31, in New Orleans. Barrett, who is deceased, spent his lifetime in the cattle feeding industry, eventually working with the Crofoot family, to establish the Barrett and Crofoot Feedlots in Hereford, Texas. The company has since grown to include three yards with a total capacity of 135,000 head.Photos courtesy of National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

The Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame inducted its 14th class, and recognized two more award winners, Jan. 31, prior to the 2023 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in New Orleans.

The two Hall of Fame inductees for 2023 include Jerry Adams, with Adams Land and Cattle in Broken Bow, Neb.; and the late Ed Barrett of Barrett and Crofoot Feedyard in Hereford, Texas. Thomas “Dee” Likes, chief executive emeritus of the Kansas Livestock Association, Larkspur, Colo., received the Industry Leadership Award; and Terry Wegner, with Drinnin West Cattle Co., Palmer, Neb., received the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award.

Hall of Fame inductees

Jerry Adams and his brother Bill Adams started out in 1972 with five employees, 5,000 calves and 3,000 acres of farmland near Broken Bow. From that humble start, the Adams brothers grew Adams Land and Cattle to a finishing capacity of 125,000 head and a backgrounding network of up to 100,000 head in more than 85 locations. Starting in 1990, Adams started to focus on research and technology in feeding cattle, and today, Adams Land and Cattle is known for its innovation and data-driven model of cattle production, according to the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame.

HALL OF FAME: Randy Blach (left), CEO of CattleFax, presents Jerry Adams his plaque inducting him into the 2023 class of the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame, Jan. 31, in New Orleans. Adams, of Broken Bow, Neb., has grown a reputation in the industry for adopting technology and research into its work feeding cattle.

Ed Barrett spent his lifetime in the cattle feeding industry. He began his career running Lubbock Feedyard before moving back to Emporia, Kan., in 1968, and building and operating Flint Hills Feedyard. In 1975, Barrett, with the Crofoot family, established the Barrett and Crofoot Feedyard in Hereford, Texas, growing it to three yards with a total capacity of 135,000 head. Barrett died in 2020. Today, his sons and grandsons are continuing his legacy owning and operating the family business.

Industry leadership

According to the Hall of Fame, “The Industry Leadership Award is given to distinguished individuals who demonstrate outstanding leadership, provide exemplary service and contribute to the advancement of the cattle feeding industry.”

INDUSTRY LEADERSHIP: Current Kansas Livestock Association CEO Matt Teagarden (left) presents KLA CEO emeritus Thomas "Dee" Likes with the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Industry Leadership Award. This award recognizes Likes’ career working on behalf of Kansas livestock producers.

Likes returned to Kansas from his tour of active duty in the U.S. Navy in the 1970s and earned his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University. In 1976, he joined the staff of the Kansas Livestock Association, where he spent the rest of his career lobbying on behalf of the state’s livestock producers. He retired after serving several decades as CEO of KLA.

Distinguished service

The Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award is named for a longtime devoted employee of Poky Feeders, Scott City, Kan. It recognizes feedyard employees who go above and beyond in their work to raise beef and improve the cattle feeding industry.

LONGTIME SERVICE: Terry Wegner was awarded the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award, recognizing his lifetime of service to the cattle feeding industry. Wegner has worked for more than 45 years with dairy cattle, and today is employed by Drinnin West Cattle Co., Palmer, Neb.

Wegner has worked for more than 45 years with dairy cattle, and today is employed by Drinnin West Cattle Co. using his wealth of knowledge. He’s adopted to new technology and new tools to bring efficiency to the yard, ensuring animal welfare and efficient feeding is maintained.

To learn more about the current class or previous inductees, visit cattlefeeders.org.

National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame contributed to this article.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer M. Latzke

Editor, Kansas Farmer

Through all her travels, Jennifer M. Latzke knows that there is no place like Kansas.

Jennifer grew up on her family’s multigenerational registered Angus seedstock ranch and diversified farm just north of Woodbine, Kan., about 30 minutes south of Junction City on the edge of the Kansas Flint Hills. Rock Springs Ranch State 4-H Center was in her family’s backyard.

While at Kansas State University, Jennifer was a member of the Sigma Kappa Sorority and a national officer for the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow. She graduated in May 2000 with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and a minor in animal science. In August 2000 Jennifer started her 20-year agricultural writing career in Dodge City, Kan., on the far southwest corner of the state.

She’s traveled across the U.S. writing on wheat, sorghum, corn, cotton, dairy and beef stories as well as breaking news and policy at the local, state and national levels. Latzke has traveled across Mexico and South America with the U.S. Wheat Associates and toured Vietnam as a member of KARL Class X. She’s traveled to Argentina as one of 10 IFAJ-Alltech Young Leaders in Agricultural Journalism. And she was part of a delegation of AAEA: The Ag Communicators Network members invited to Cuba.

Jennifer’s an award-winning writer, columnist, and podcaster, recognized by the Kansas Professional Communicators, Kansas Press Association, the National Federation of Presswomen, Livestock Publications Council, and AAEA. In 2019, Jennifer reached the pinnacle of achievements, earning the title of “Writer of Merit” from AAEA.

Trips and accolades are lovely, but Jennifer says she is happiest on the road talking to farmers and ranchers and gathering stories and photos to share with readers.

“It’s an honor and a great responsibility to be able to tell someone’s story and bring them recognition for their work on the land,” Jennifer says. “But my role is also evolving to help our more urban neighbors understand the issues our Kansas farmers face in bringing the food and fiber to their store shelves.”

She spends her time gardening, crafting, watching K-State football, and cheering on her nephews and niece in their 4-H projects. She can be found on Twitter at @Latzke.

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