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New Book Celebrates Rich History of Kansas Cattle Industry

New Book Celebrates Rich History of Kansas Cattle Industry
Book tells the stories of dozens of Kansas families, details history of 150 years of ranching in Kansas.

Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Beef Cattle Institute and Frontier program are commemorating the upcoming 150th anniversary of the state of Kansas with the release of the coffee table-style book "150 Years of Kansas Beef."

The book is dedicated to longtime Kansas rancher Jack Vanier, whose wife, Donna Vanier, made the project possible. The Vaniers own the CK Ranch in Brookville.

"With chapters reaching as far back as the great cattle drives of the 19th century, this historical and photograph-rich book will take readers through the challenges and triumphs of the Kansas beef industry over the last century and a half," said Justin Kastner, director of the book project and co-director of the Frontier program, a historical studies research program offered by the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

"Dozens of families contributed ranch histories, photographs and other paraphernalia to the project, some of which are described in an online podcast series available through the Beef Cattle Institute at," he said. "We're grateful to the scores of families who have contributed to the project."

Chris Stephens, former development officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine, worked closely on the project with Kastner and Chris Gruber, the college's current director of development.

The Vaniers, both active philanthropists, have supported many community and K-State projects through the Vanier Family Foundation. The "150 Years of Kansas Beef" book dedication was a surprise Christmas gift to Jack Vanier from his wife.

The book can be ordered online at It is being printed by Donning Company Publishers and will be delivered in summer 2011.

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