Agriculture Future of America announces awards

Oct 24, 2011
by WLJ

Agriculture Future of America (AFA) is pleased to announce Paul F. Engler and Sara R. Wyant have been selected as 2011 Leader in Agriculture Award winners. AFA sponsors the Leader in Agriculture Award to honor individuals whose accomplishments in their personal lives and professional careers have distinguished them as mentors to others in the agriculture industry.

Engler and Wyant will be honored at the Leader in Agriculture Award Dinner held during the 2011 AFA Leaders Conference, Nov. 3-6, 2011, in Kansas City, MO. The dinner, held on Nov. 4, will host nearly 900 global leaders, students and supporters of agriculture to recognize the winners’ significant contributions to the food and agriculture industry.

Paul F. Engler is the founder and chairman emeritus of Cactus Feeders, Inc., based in Amarillo, TX. Raised in Nebraska, Engler owned his first herd of cattle at age 12 and at age 15, began college at the University of Nebraska. In 1960, he founded the Hereford Feedyard in Texas before becoming head of carcass division for the Iowa Beef Producers, where he eventually initiated the establishment of a Texas-based IBP slaughter facility. In 1975,

Engler founded Cactus Feeders, which is now the world’s largest privately owned cattle feeding operation with locations across northern Texas and southwest Kansas. Engler is a member of the International Stockmen’s Hall of Fame and serves on the board of directors for the National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Harrington Regional Medical Center, and the West Texas A&M University Foundation. He also founded the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation. Engler was inducted into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame in 2009.

Sara R. Wyant is the president of Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc., which publishes the Agri-Pulse newsletter and website to include the latest information on farm policy, commodity and conservation programs, trade, food safety, rural development, and environmental and regulation programs.

After growing up on a farm near Marengo, IA, Wyant attended Iowa State University. Her earlier work includes farm policy reporting on Capitol Hill and serving as the vice president for editorial operations for Farm Progress. Wyant is a member of the steering committee for the 25 by ’25 Renewable Energy Group, serves on the advisory board of the Agricultural Marketing Re sources

Center at Iowa State University, and is past president of the American Agricultural Editors’ Association (AAEA). In 2000, she received an AAEA Oscar in Agriculture for excellence in agricultural reporting.

“AFA’s 2011 Leader in Agriculture honorees have distinguished themselves as exceptional leaders in the agri-industry,” said Russ Weathers, AFA president and CEO. “AFA is pleased to have this opportunity to recognize their contributions, but more importantly, to thank them for their commitment to the future. Their respective entrepreneurial achievements serve as models to young leaders.”

AFA annually selects two people for the Leader in Agriculture Award who have a record of supporting career and leader development for young men and women. With student participation increasing 38 percent in the last five years, AFA leader development programs have impacted nearly 7,000 students from more than 115 universities in 41 states. The three-track AFA Leaders Conference provides personal and professional development opportunities for 500 college students each year. AFA, celebrating its 15-year anniversary, has awarded more than $6 million in academic and leader development scholarships. — WLJ