Posted tagged ‘Kansas State University’

Dr. Don Good – My Hero

February 15, 2012

My name is Chris Mullinix and this represents my first ever Butler Blog.  I’m excited to do so but must admit my motivation stems from sadness.  We all have heroes and mentors in our life and last night I lost one of mine in Dr. Don Good.  Like most of the students who write on this blog, my background is of family farm origin where I grew up loving animal agriculture.  I know in my early years I viewed people like Michael Jordan or Joe Montana as heroes.  Today, my view on heroes is different.  Not to take anything away from those icons in sport, but as my life and passions changed so did my heroes.

Today, I feel very fortunate to be in my 15th year teaching in the Agriculture Department here at Butler and serving as the coach of our livestock judging team.  As I developed my enjoyment of judging through 4-H and at the collegiate level I also became interested in the history of my “sport.”  We’ve had so many individuals influence our industry and direct positive change!  But in my opinion that list starts with Don Good!  I am proud of my opportunity to judge shows across the country and the impact I am fortunate to have on young people as the coach of a collegiate livestock judging team.  In my opinion, no one ever did those two things with any greater skill, integrity level and success than Don Good!  Doesn’t that define a hero?

 As an evaluator of livestock, Don Good is widely considered one of the greatest cattle judges of all time.  His understanding of industry, astute eye, amazing communication skills and steadfast moral code gave him the opportunity to judge every major show in the country and numerous events worldwide.  What’s cool is that I honestly think Don derived as much joy from judging a Kansas county fair (which I believe he made an effort to judge every county show in the state) as he did judging the International in Chicago.  He just loved people and livestock no matter what the scope of the event!  Though I’m sure you could highlight many great moments in his judging career, the 1969 International in Chicago stands as an unbelievable moment in the livestock industry.  That year, judge Don Good selected the first ever crossbred to win a major livestock event and forever changed industry views on crossbreeding.  What we see as the norm today was anything but normal in that era.  Purebred livestock were viewed as superior to that of their crossbred, “mongrel,” counterparts.  With one “slap” Don Good changed that view.  Conoco (picture below) was a Charolais/Angus cross that weighed just shy of 1300 pounds as approximately 15 or 16 months of age and went on to grade middle choice with a yield grade of 2 and a 15+ inch ribeye.  In 1969!!  We couldn’t ask for any better four decades later.  Don Good was a pioneer – with GUTS!  A hero if you will.

 Dr. Good also served as the head livestock judging coach at Kansas State University for 20 years, spanning a portion of three decades.  A decorated collegiate competitor himself, Don was named the High Individual Overall at the American Royal and the Second High Overall at the Chicago International as at student at The Ohio State University.  I am so proud of my affiliation with the livestock judging program at K-State.  The enthusiasm of our alumni is unbelievable and it came from the efforts of Don Good and the impact he had on the lives of some many young people as their coach, teacher and mentor.  To many, judging success is measured in wins.  Victories are great, of which Don Good achieve many (Pictured below with his 1950 National Championship Team), but lives touched is what generates a legacy.  In his later years, I had the chance to share coaching philosophies with Dr. Good on several occasions and have spent time with countless former students who have each made their own profound impact on our industry.  Don believed in a consistent approach to teaching the principles of the livestock industry and developing life skills through livestock judging.  His students state it simply – “He made me a better person!”  Now that’s a hero.


On July 21, 2007, I married Elissa Good and became a part of the Good Family.  From that day forward, I began to have a greater appreciation for Don Good the man.  You see, inside the walls of their family home he was not Don Good the livestock icon or judging great.  He was simply, Dad or Husband or Grandpa or Uncle Don.  Up until that time, I viewed Don Good as my hero based on his exploits as a coach and livestock evaluator.  Once again my views of a hero have changed.  He made a life partner in his beautiful wife Jane and together raised the most amazing family I’ve ever been around.  A family I’m now proud to call my own!  In September, my wife will give birth to our first child and I hope I can continue to use Don Good as my inspiration on how to balance family and career.

Yesterday, I lost a hero.  But today, I realized that you never really lose your heroes.  The impact they have on your personality lasts a lifetime and hopefully can be passed on by your good deeds to others.  Thank you Don for being a great spokesman for industry, an American Soldier, a proud educator, a breeder of great livestock and a coach that touched the lives of so many students.  Most of all, thanks for just being “Uncle Don.”

Big Kid School is for Cute New T-shirts!

September 6, 2011

Long gone are those beautiful days where I could attend class and every one of my teachers would know my name by the second week.

Long gone are the days when I could walk to class in two minutes (however also long gone is that pesky Freshmen 15!!!)

Long gone are those beautiful days when you didn’t have a test/quiz in two different ag classes on the same day because you had one teacher for all of your ag classes and she wouldn’t give you a double whammy (Thank you SO much for that Elissa.. you were an angel).

Long gone are those beautiful days when your Spanish teacher would talk to you in English and you actually knew what was going down in class (Thank you SO much for that M.. you’re the bomb).

Long gone are those beautiful Butler days.


Say HELLOOO to cute new t-shirts at K-State!

It seems like for EVERY single club/organization you join there are t-shirts that are either required or “strongly suggested”. And I have the hottest new supermodels on this season’s runways to show them off!

Here is the hotty-toddy Analena showing off her love for beef… particularly K-State beef! Analena enjoys long walks on the beach and helping her friends with their Chemistry homework.











Here is hot mama-cita Megan. She is very active in her sorority, Sigma Alpha. Sigma Alpha is a professional ag sorority. Megan loves Red Diamond Sweet Tea and her new iPad. 

Pictured above is Hannah and Sarah. They embrace their differences and stand for world peace and equality among mankind.

And then of course there is always the option to “Be You. Be Greek” along with 546y47463829 other girls on the KSU campus. Not only does joining a sorority give you that “special bond” that only sisterhood can, but you also get to invest in about 36 new t-shirts each semester!

But this is by FAR the best t-shirt I have gotten yet. It is my new Train shirt from the most perfect, amazing and magical night of my life!!! (translation: I got to see Train in Kansas City this past weekend!!!) My life is now complete.



Butler Alumni-Your Future Starts HERE!

August 22, 2011

Butler Alumni: Cody Palen

 Butler alumni, Cody Palen grew up in Scott City, Kansas.  He was an active member of 4-H and FFA, and to this day he still co-owns/operates Palen Club Lambs with his family.  Cody came to school at Butler Community College, where he earned A.S. degree in Agriculture in 2006.  He was also a member of the Butler Agriculture Club and he competed on one of the most successful Livestock Judging Teams Butler has ever fielded. 

 After his time at Butler, Cody followed his heart to Kansas State University, where he majored in Animal Science and Industry with a Business option.  At K-State Cody was also a member of Block and Bridle and the Livestock Judging Team.

After graduation Cody returned to western Kansas.  He has been employed as the Vice President of Western State Bank in Dodge City, Kansas.  Cody is responsible for commercial and agricultural lending.  On a daily basis, Cody analyzes operations and deals with providing financing in the way of term debt (land, cows, equipment) and operating lines of credit (crops, feeder calves, and feed).  In Cody’s words,

The best part of my job on the agriculture side is that I get to see a variety of different operations. It proves to me there isn’t one distinct way for a farmer or rancher to feed the world.”

In the three years since he graduated from K-State, Cody has found ways to step up and provide leadership within his community.  He is a member of the current Kansas Livestock Association Young Stockman’s Academy’s class, and is also a member of the Kansas Bankers Association where he participates in the YBOK program (Young Bankers of Kansas).  Cody enjoys hunting, golfing and most of all staying actively involved with youth livestock programs.  He judges shows and has helped to put on show and selection clinics, as well as helping to coach local 4-h judging teams. 

For Cody, success has been a result of making the most of every opportunity he has been presented with.  He has always worked hard, but he realized early on that Butler was the first step in his future.  The contacts and friends he has made along the way, as well as the activities he has chosen to become involved with have prepared him to take on any challenge. 

  “I have found my livestock judging experiences from both Butler Community College and Kansas State University to pay dividends. My current employer along with others purposely seeks out individuals with agriculture and specifically judging backgrounds for their ability to make a clear decision and defend it”.

Butler Alumni: Start Your Network

February 23, 2011

Butler Community College Alumna: Wendy Mayo

  BCC alumna Wendy Mayo originally hails from Garden City, Kansas.  The agricultural roots in her family run deep.  This tough, no-nonsense young lady learned the meaning of hard work while helping out on her family’s diversified operation with both cattle and farming.  There were no “girls” jobs-Wendy and her sister filled in wherever and whenever needed.  Wendy was also very active in 4-H and FFA.

While at Butler, Wendy was a valuable part of an extremely successful Livestock Judging Team.  She was also involved in Grizzly Ambassadors and the Butler Ag Club.  From day 1 Wendy was always on the lookout to find ways to form connections. 

After graduating from Butler with a degree in Agriculture Wendy continued her education at Kansas State University-for a Kansas girl like Wendy being a Wildcat is livin’ the dream.  At K-State she was an Ag Ambassador and she got very involved with the Ag Communications department, twice serving as editor of the Agriculturist (a student-produced publication from the Ag communications and Journalism department).  Wendy also competed on the K-State Livestock Judging Team and was selected as the student speaker at the December 2005 K-State College of Agriculture graduation ceremony where she graduated with dual degrees in Ag Communications and Journalism and Animal Science.

Today, Wendy’s background comes into play every day because she needs to understand both beef production and the best ways to communicate with beef producers.  Since college, Wendy has worked for Bader Rutter & Associates, a marketing communications agency.  Wendy works on the Pfizer Animal Health business in both public relations and account management.  She works with a team that is responsible for helping plan, concept and execute all of the marketing communications materials and tactics for all of the Pfizer Animal Health cattle brands. More specifically, they build ads, sales and public relations materials or anything else that producers and veterinarians see promoting Pfizer Animal Health products.

In Wendy’s words, “I work primarily on the Pfizer Animal Genetics and vaccine businesses. Working on DNA testing products has been a very interesting opportunity for me, especially in relation to my livestock judging career. Growing up in southwest Kansas, I didn’t have a lot of exposure to the seedstock business prior to college and judging. What I learned through those experiences definitely help me better understand my client’s business and how these products can be applied. I also work with industry experts and producers on a regular basis whom I met through judging.”

 Wendy also has public relations responsibilities that include writing and releasing press releases and other editorial content to beef publications, helping produce TV segments, working with editors from beef publications, like BEEF and Drovers, to help them cover animal health-related topics, interviewing producers who use Pfizer products and placing stories about them, helping organize Pfizer activities at industry events and tradeshows. On a daily basis, she is in contact with the Pfizer marketing team, editors and broadcasters, industry groups like NCBA or event vendors. She also helps to build advertising and sales materials for the Pfizer Animal Genetics business.

 I would encourage students to always keep their eyes open and remember that agriculture is a very small community. When I took my current job out of school, I didn’t think that it was related to anything I had done previously. But, I work with people on a daily basis that I met through judging, school, internships and other industry-related activities while I was in college, and before. My career path thus far has been shaped by several relationships that have opened the door to opportunities. So, I encourage students to always remember that the connections they are making now will help lead to opportunities both professionally and personally for years to come.

As you can see, Wendy Mayo is busy, by choice.  The work ethic she developed on her family farm prepared her to meet challenges along the way, and the work she did in the classroom prepared her to have a viable understanding of the industry.  Starting with her time at Butler, it was the people she met in clubs, on competitive judging teams, and in activity groups that continue to provide her with an ever-growing industry network. 

Black & Purple

February 17, 2011

Everyone should love this song. End of story.

Butler Alumni-Be True to Yourself

January 25, 2011

Ben (Butler Alumni) and Corineah Williams

Butler Alumni, Ben Williams grew up in North Central Indiana on a diversified livestock operation.  From the start, Ben was active in 4-H and high school sports (especially basketball-a must for those in the Hoosier state).  His family currently raises club lambs and a handful of show calves.  Check them out at Williams Diamond Club Lambs.  One thing is certain, at home Ben learned the value of doing things the right way and has never wavered from those beliefs. 

Ben’s interest in livestock evaluation led him to Butler Community College where he was a member of the Livestock Judging Team, earning All American status his sophomore year.  He was also a member of the Ag club and served as the Ag club student advisor representative.  After earning his Agriculture degree Ben continued his education at Kansas State University.  While he was earning his bachelors degree in Animal Science, Ben competed on the 2006 Livestock Judging Team, was a member of Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity and also  Block and Bridle.  He also completed an internship with Dr. Dale Blasi working with National Animal Identification Systems.  Like many Butler students who transfer on, Ben found the time to accomplish a lot, but yet he still managed to complete his undergraduate degree in just 4 years.

After K-State, Ben earned at Master’s Degree in Animal Science with emphasis in meat science and muscle biology at the University of Nebraska while also serving as the assistant livestock judging team coach.  He was also a member of American Meat Science association.

Currently, Ben is the Livestock Judging Coach for North Dakota State University.  Part of his job is also in NDSU extension where he is involved with  speaking to producers and youth about livestock selection and production.  He also trains FFA and 4-H coaches about livestock judging and is responsible for developing livestock judging educational materials.  Ben is the North Dakota spokesperson for AK-SAR-BEN and also the ND state fair Superintendent advisor.  Check out the NDSU Animal Science home page  to see what they’re up to.

Ben with his 2010 NDSU Livestock Judging Team

 Ben and his wife, Corineah maintain a blog they call “…life on our terms,” it’s a fun peek into their everyday lives.  In his free time, Ben enjoys playing/watching basketball and most sports, bird hunting, spending time with family and talking “livestock.”

In Ben’s words, “My advice for young livestock judgers: Everybody wants the ribbons, plaques, trophies and banners; but not everybody wants to work for it.  Separate yourself from average by your willingness to work, and your willingness to learn.  And have fun doing it!”

"I especially like livestock prints and pictures. This is one that is hanging on my office wall. This one is the epitome of livestock judging and showing. It is titled “One Man’s Opinion.”

As you can see Ben is a Butler graduate who is making  an impact everyday.  Like many Butler graduates he is finding a way to carve out his place in the Agricultural world with integrity and the conviction to remain true to himself.

Butler Alumni-Get Prepared!

December 6, 2010

Butler Community College Alumna: Christie Gabel

Butler Alumna, Christie Gabel originally hails from Eaton, Colorado a small town in the NE part of the state.  From a young age Christie had the opportunity to work with several different livestock species, but her real love was with beef cattle.   Christie’s family owns and operates Magnum Feedyards in Wiggins, Colorado.  This family operation (remember family operations come in all sizes) gave Christie a unique insight into the beef industry.   Christie’s family recognizes the need for Agriculturists to connect with the public.  This past summer Magnum Feedyards invited Ryan Andrews a vegan blogger to visit their operation.  Follow this link to read Ryan’s take on his experience.

While at Butler, Christie was a member of the nationally acclaimed Livestock Judging Team.  In fact, during her sophomore year, Christie (along with 5 of her teammates) was named to the National All-American Team-the most by any school in a given year since the award has been awarded.  The All-American honor is only given to 15 sophomores each year based on contest performance and academic achievements.

After Butler, Christie attended Kansas State University and earned a B.S. in Animal Sciences & Industry and a Minor in Business. She was a member of Ag Ambassadors, Collegiate Cattlewomen and the 2006 Reserve National Champion Livestock Judging Team!

After graduation Christie was prepared for a number of career options.  She worked for Elanco as a beef sales representative for nearly four years, both on the Feedlot and Stocker side before moving back to her “Kansas” home to her current position with Kansas State University Foundation  as a Development Officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Christie’s job is to be a Major-Gift Fundraiser for the Vet School.  She aims to raise money for student scholarships, support for faculty, funding for major research projects, upgrades to the teaching hospital & everything else that requires money!

In her free time Christie has coached the Weld County (Colorado)                    4-H Livestock Judging Team to a State Championship and she is currently working toward an MBA with a Finance Emphasis.  Christie like many of our Butler graduates worked hard (this girl is tough and persistent), got involved in activities, made contacts along the way, and ultimately is prepared to succeed in whatever she sets her mind to do.

Butler Alumni-Complete the Circle

November 15, 2010

Butler Alumni: Ryan Bennett

Butler Alumni, Ryan Bennett has never been one to leave potential opportunities unexplored.  For those who know Ryan, you would expect that he might deviate from his “plan of the moment.”  However, in doing so he gathered a wealth of experience.  Ryan is originally from Woodbine, Maryland.  Yes, there is Agriculture in Maryland.  For Ryan, the opportunity to venture out and experience Ag in another part of the country really opened his eyes to the industry.

 Ryan attended Butler Community College and earned a degree in Agriculture. He competed on what he describes as the most successful Livestock Judging Team ever assembled (other teams from other years continue to debate this claim) and was a member of the Butler Ag club.  In Ryan’s words, 

“When I went to school at Butler I came from a culture that consistently turned its back on agriculture. Many told me to major in anything but agriculture. Listening to what I had been told, I attended Butler College only if I could major in Political Science. Even though Chris let me know I could combine my love for agriculture and politics, I did what I was told and started college with hopes of earning a degree in Poli Sci. So, I lived my double life and couldn’t speak highly enough of the professors I had on the other side of campus. I also helped run a fellow classmates campaign for Mayor of El Dorado. Brandon Light received a lot of media attention from the Wichita news stations for running for Mayor as a student of the college.”

 It didn’t take long for Ryan to figure out that Chris (Mullinix) was right! Actually it’s difficult to think of a job, interest area or degree path that can’t be combined with Agriculture.  Ryan would tell you that looking for ways to be involved, even as a student, helped make him successful.

 After graduating from BCC, Ryan attended Kansas State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications.  In addition to his studies Ryan was a successful member of the Policy Debate Team, earning the distinction of being the 4th High Speaker at the National Junior Division Debate Tournament.

 Today, Ryan lives in Maryland and works as the Manager of Public Policy Relations at the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA). To put it in perspective NGFA has over 1,000 members with over 6,000 facilities made up of grain elevators, feed and feed ingredient manufacturers, grain and oilseed processors, livestock and poultry integrators, and others who provide services to the industry. Ryan’s job is to lobby Congress, help in coordinating PAC (Political Action Committee) activities, and head up our grassroots efforts on behalf of these members and industry partners. His grassroots efforts center around getting membership more active in informing and influencing their congressional delegation (i.e. writing letters). 

 If Ryan’s job sounds complicated please understand the he is truly living out his dream of mixing Agriculture and legislative policy making.  As agriculturalists we should be relieved that we have lobbyists working on our behalf in Washington D.C.  In his free time Ryan continues to work on political campaigns-he sees firsthand how important elections are and how decisions at the voting booth can drastically change policy regarding production agriculture. He says,

“As long as groups of people in D.C. continue to show they do not understand the way things are done outside of this place, I will remain here ready to remind them.”

Ryan started his journey towards a career in Agriculture because people around him, family friends, 4-H leaders helped him out.  Today, Ryan has taken what he knows about Kansas Agriculture back home.  He volunteers by coaching his county’s 4-H livestock judging team.  He uses the skills that he learned at BCC to inspire the next generation.  Like many Butler graduates, he has returned home and is working to complete the circle by giving back in his local community.

Butler Livestock Judging team that Ryan Bennett was a member of. Was it the best team ever assembled? The debate rages on!

Butler Alumni: Why Limit Yourself?

September 30, 2010

Butler CC Alumni Chelsea Good

I have had the privilege of knowing Chelsea Good her entire life and can say without a shadow of a doubt that some things don’t change.  She has always been stubborn, determined, and to this young lady the word “no” is never absolute (she sees it as more of a challenge). Chelsea is originally from Parker, Colorado.  She came to Butler Community College and competed as a member of the nationally acclaimed Livestock Judging Team.  She was also a Grizzly Ambassador.  After completing her A.S. degree in Agriculture at Butler she continued her education at Kansas State University where she finished not 1, not 2, but 3 undergraduate degrees (within the semi-typical 4 yr timeframe).  Her B.S. degrees are in Public Relations, Agriculture Communications and Journalism, and Political Science.  Chelsea is a great example of how a community college student can seamlessly transition to a senior college and still graduate on time.  Not one to sit still, Chelsea also competed on the K-State Debate Squad, National Agri-Marketing, and Animal Science Academic Quadrathalon teams.  She also was an active member of Collegiate Cattlewomen, Collegiate Farm Bureau and the College of Agriculture Student Council.  After completing her undergraduate coursework Chelsea stayed at K-State and earned a M.A. in Communication Studies. 

 She and other Kansas State University agricultural student leaders formed the group Food for Thought and she continues to be a regular contributor.  Additionally she has been very active with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s Young Producers Council (YPC) and also contributes to their blog. 

 Since 2006 Chelsea has worked independently as a freelance writer for various agricultural publications if you follow this link you can get to her online portfolio  and read a sampling of her work.  Chelsea just celebrated her ¼ life birthday (crisis free I believe) and in her short 25 years has already accomplished a great deal.

 Currently, Chelsea is a 2nd year law student at Washburn University in Topeka, Kansas. In addition to being a student she works part time with the Kansas Livestock Association where she assists the legal team with legislative research and writes for the Kansas Stockman Magazine. She also works part time for the lobbyist firm of Pinegar, Smith and Associates assisting with legislative research and client communication.  Yes, Chelsea has a lot on her plate and yet she rarely misses a chance to cheer on the Wildcats, in person.

 Chelsea describes herself as an Agriculture Advocate.  She hopes to develop a career representing the agriculture industry in governmental affairs. However, if her past is any indication of her future I wonder what ELSE she may do along the way.  Like many Butler graduates she doesn’t wait for things to happen, she makes them happen. In Chelsea’s world, the question is always, “Why limit yourself?”