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Livestock leadership displayed at Iowa State UniversityLivestock leadership displayed at Iowa State University

Many leaders in the livestock industry have ties to Iowa State University as students or professors. A new ISU display at the college recognizes the 35 individuals inducted into the Saddle and Sirloin portrait club through the years.

Jennifer Carrico

November 1, 2023

3 Min Read
Maynard Hogberg points to photo of Harlan Ritchie
2 HONOREES: Maynard Hogberg, Iowa State University animal science professor emeritus and 2016 inductee in the Saddle and Sirloin portrait club, points at the picture of Harlan Ritchie, an ISU graduate and mentor to Hogberg, who was inducted in 1994. Jennifer Carrico

Honoring livestock industry leaders is the purpose of the Saddle and Sirloin portrait collection, which displays over 375 portraits at the Kentucky Exposition Center, the site of the North American Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky. Iowa State University now has a display of those who have a connection in Iowa.

“The portrait collection was started in 1903 at the Chicago Union Stock Yards, which was the site for the International Livestock Exposition. This is where the portraits hung for many years,” says Maynard Hogberg, 2016 portrait inductee and ISU professor emeritus of animal science.

list of ISU Saddle and Sirloin portrait award winners

Honoring those who have ties to ISU was a conversation Hogberg started with college officials several years ago, and once the Hansen Agricultural Student Learning Center was completed, it seemed like a fitting place for the display.

“We have 35 photos of the portraits on display and a write-up about each honoree’s contributions to the university,” Hogberg adds. “It’s really pretty interesting to read about each one. Some were students and others, professors or department heads.”

Portrait club history

Livestock leaders, feeders, breeders, commissioners, politicians, academics and packers have been inducted in the Club through the years, representing all livestock species. While the portraits now all hang in Louisville, the honors began when the International Livestock Show was held at the Chicago Stock Yards, and they were displayed there until 1975. The first portrait hung in the club was of William Arnon Henry, the first dean of the College of Agriculture at the University of Wisconsin.

A 1934 fire at the Chicago Stock Yards destroyed a large portion of the stockyards and its buildings. Many portraits were destroyed in the fire, but within a week, the then-chairman of the Union Stock Yards had commissioned replacements for those lost.

Several inductees were added for many years, but in 1955, with limited wall space available at the club in Chicago, that ended. After moving the collection to Louisville in 1976, the first inductee was added to the collection in Louisville in 1978; since 1988, only one person has been inducted each year. 

“You can really learn a lot about the livestock industry in Iowa by reading about how each of these honorees impacted the lives of students and animal producers,” Hogberg says.

Hogberg says being inducted into the portrait club is certainly an honor, and he hopes those who visit the Hansen Center at ISU in Ames, Iowa, will take the time to see how each have made a difference in the livestock industry. “We’ve left room to add to this collection, because we know Iowa will continue to have people who deserve this honor,” he concludes.

Saddle and Sirloin portrait honorees have ISU ties

Many great names are included in the list of Saddle and Sirloin portrait honorees with ties to ISU. Charles Curtiss was inducted in 1915 and was ISU’s first professor of animal husbandry, later becoming the dean of agriculture. Curtiss Hall on the ISU campus is named in his honor.

In 1920, John Craig, the father of the technical art of livestock judging in America was inducted. He was a professor at ISU in the late 1890s. Guy Noble was an ISU graduate inducted in 1947. He is considered the father of 4-H. In 1956, Jay Lush had his portrait hung. Lush is the father of moder scientific animal breeding.

More recent inductees include Richard Willham in 2004. He was a professor for many years at ISU and developed expected progeny differences (EPDs) through his research. ISU professor emeritus and past head of the department of animal science, Maynard Hogberg was inducted in 2016, and is the most recent inductee.

About the Author(s)

Jennifer Carrico

Editor, Wallaces Farmer

Jennifer lives on a farm near Redfield, Iowa, where she runs a small cow-calf operation with her family. A 20-plus year ag journalism veteran, Jennifer has covered a wide range of agriculture issues. A graduate of Iowa State University, she has worked for local daily papers and other agriculture publishers. She came to Wallaces Farmer from the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association. She enjoys writing, managing cattle, and hearing and telling farmer stories.

Jennifer has two children. Kassidy, 21, attends Black Hawk East College, but will transfer in the fall to Oklahoma State University. Son, Klayton, attends Panorama High School where he excels in academics, sports, FFA and 4-H.

“My favorite part of being an ag journalist is to tell the story of the farmer and rancher,” she says. “The farmer and rancher do the work to make the food, fiber and fuel for everyone. I want to use our online presence to broaden that message to those off the farm.”

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