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2016 Awards


Contact: Angie Stump Denton, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences & Industry Communication Coordinator, angiedenton@ksu.edu or 785-562-6197

Rishel Presented BIF Pioneer Award

MANHATTAN, Kan. (June 16, 2016) — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Bill Rishel, North Platte, Nebraska, a BIF Pioneer Award June 16 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium in Manhattan, Kansas. The award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, honoring those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.

Rishel Angus is known in the seedstock industry as one of the first to substantially commit to identifying and improving carcass merit. Likewise, Bill is recognized as a thought leader and mentor to many in the cattle industry.

He grew up on his family’s diversified crop and livestock farm near York, Pennsylvania, and earned an animal husbandry degree from Pennsylvania State University. Rishel worked as assistant herdsman at Penn State while earning a master’s degree in animal breeding.

Bill and his wife, Barb, married in 1966. Bill managed two Angus operations in New York, before developing Rishel Angus beginning in 1975. Rishel Angus has bred numerous bulls that have impacted the global beef industry, including B/R New Design 036, the No. 1 sire for Angus registrations in 2001 and 2002.

Rishel has devoted his life to serving the beef industry. He helped create Nebraska Cattlemen, serving as chairman of that organization’s first Seedstock Council. Rishel served as president of Nebraska Cattlemen in 2010. He has also served in leadership roles with the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Classic.

From 1991-1996, Rishel served two terms as director of the American Angus Association. In 1996, Rishel was chairman of the Certified Angus Beef LLC (CAB) board of directors.

In 2005, Bill and Barb received the BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year Award. He was named a Distinguished Animal Science Alumnus at Penn State and, in 2013, was inducted into the Nebraska Cattlemen’s Hall of Fame.

The Rishels have three daughters and six grandchildren.

More than 600 beef producers, academia and industry representatives were in attendance at the organization’s 48th annual convention. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of meeting and tours, visit www.BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit www.beefimprovement.org.


Bill Rishel (middle) of Rishel Angus, North Platte, Nebraska, receives the Beef Improvement Federation Pioneer Award from Craig Bieber (left), Leola, S.D., 2015-16 BIF president; and Marty Ropp (right), Normal, Ill., 2016-17 BIF president. Rishel was honored June 16 at the organization’s 48th annual convention in Manhattan, Kan.

Editor’s Note: This article was written is a news release provided by Kansas State University's Department of Animal Sciences and industry. For more about K-State’s ASI department visit asi.ksu.edu.

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