Keith Mull – Stockman of the Year

(Keith) Well it really feels great. I’m going to humbly accept the award. I don’t know that I deserve it, but we have done a lot in the industry we feel. We were some of the first in our area that contributed to the National Livestock and Meat Board and we did that in the early 1960′s when I was just growing cattle before we were finishing them. And I’d sold some feeder cattle to a producer… a feeder in Henry County, Illinois. And we voluntarily assist ourselves and sent the appropriate amount to the National Livestock and Meat Board in Chicago. Background on my operation, actually started when my wife’s grandfather came from Russia in 1877. And then it was passed down to my wife’s parents and then we finally started the farming operation, and by that time there weren’t too many cattle that were handled at our farm. And we really took the helm and started in 1948. And grew slowly until about 1960 or 65 and then we picked up the pace and got up to where we were feeding maybe 50 or, well we still do 50,000-60,000 head of cattle a year. After we were married when we took over the farm, our children were born in the 50′s and then in 1974 when my son graduated from K-State. He had intended to take a job with the co-op in Kansas City and I think did kind of tell them that he was very much interested. And then he came home and he said, you know, I don’t want to do that, but I don’t want to just work on the farm, I want to run the farm. So, my wife and I took a trip to Europe and he started running it from then. And then, since then he and I worked together and I did the risk management and helped take care of the financing and had what we considered a fairly profitable operation. Things are more highly technical now than they were at that time. All the technology is so important, whether it’s in the feed ingredients or the medications, or the marketing or the risk management that we like to think we can have some input with. So, things are changing, and they’re changing every year.

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