Dick Janssen, 2017 Stockman of the Year

(Dick Janssen) This is a real honor for me and my family. My college judging team coach was Don Goode and Miles McKee was the herdsmen at the beef barn. I was always interested in pedigrees, but they really got me interested in breeding cattle. Form and function was part of what they taught me. (Tom Burke) Dick Janssen and I have known each other for half a century. He’s a gentleman that really has a great love for Angus cattle and seed stock. He served as President of the Kansas Angus Association in 1980. In 1990, he was elected President of the American Angus Association. He was one of the best presidents that we’ve ever had at the American Angus Association. (Norman Kanak) I worked for him years earlier. When I came to Missouri in 1983 and I had to go back to buying bulls from Dick in the early ‘90s. From that time on, one of the biggest things he convinced me of is trying to stay in the middle of the road with everything. (Pete Mitts) Norman Kanak and I went up in ‘97 and we were looking at cattle with known genetics and something that had some data behind them. At that time all we had was EPDs. We were looking for low birth weight bulls mainly. Dick stayed right on the cutting edge of collecting data and all the way through from the scan data to feed efficiency and was really easy to work with. The data behind this bull was 100%. (John Osborn) I started going out with Dick Janssen 14 years ago. What he was looking for was easy-calving bulls. He was getting into the fat market when we wanted to sell great cattle. Since I went with Dick’s bulls, we pulled very few calves. We did very good on the grid with the fat cattle and they seem to be easy keeping calves. (Henry Bergfeld) Well, I first met one Dick Janssen probably some 30-plus years ago. He purchased a bull from us at that time. I personally delivered the bull to him down at the Green Garden, Ellsworth, Kansas. While there, he had not long before bought a bull EXT; he bought an interest in him. It was the first calves that I had seen by that bull EXT. He had just leased him to ABS and he didn’t have much semen on him. But I left that day with all the semen Dick would allow me to take. (Ken Stielow) When I was thinking about this, the one thing that I thought had more influence over the commercial cow/calf business in the US, that you are a leader in innovating and that was EPDs for birth weight. Growing up in a commercial cow/calf operation, I remember two things about calving season. I didn’t like either. One was memorizing the telephone number of the local veterinarian and the other was digging out the calf puller and making sure it was all ready to go because you knew you were going to have to use it regularly. (Galen Fink) One of the great things I really appreciate, Dick Janssen has been very true to his breeding program for the last 30, 35 years. He’s a no-nonsense, no-frills kind of a guy. He’s run the cowherd in an efficient manner. With that, he’s paid attention to what the cattle industry really needs. (Dick) When I was early on the board, when we need to go to feedlots, you’d have to look for a pen of black cattle. Today you go to feedlots and you will see hardly anything but black cattle. They’re not all Angus, but they’re sure black. If we didn’t win them over to the breed we at least won them over to the color. (Ken) At the time, not everyone agreed with you. I can remember people saying, “Dick Janssen is going to just breed those little bitty calves that don’t grow.” But the reality was we can select for both low birth weight and growth. The commercial cow/calf industry owes you a big debt of gratitude. So on behalf of the industry, I’ll say thanks a lot, Dick. And thanks for being a mentor and a friend all these years. (Galen) One of the things, I’ve always appreciated about you is you started out watching carcass many years ago. You handled your cattle different. I think that’s extremely important. And your genetics go back into the commercial industry. (Tom) Again, I’m proud to be your friend. I’m proud to know you. (Jon Mollhagen) Dick, congratulations for Stockman of the Year. You’re very well-deserving of this award. (Pete) All of us here in Missouri want to congratulate Dick. You’re well-deserving. (John) I’ve really enjoyed working with you. I want to really congratulate you on all your accomplishments. (Norman) Congratulations, Dick. (Henry) The Angus world and beef cattle community need more people like Dick, Shelly Janssen. I congratulate them. (Ben Janssen) I’d like to congratulate my father for winning the Stockman of the Year Award. (Elizabeth Janssen-Perkins) Congratulations, dad. You deserve the award. (Shelly Janssen) I got the chance to learn more about nature, the environment and how to protect things from a man that I dearly love and have always. (Dick) Again, thank you for this honor.

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