COLLEGE STATION – Hollis Klett was presented with the 2014 Outstanding Alumni Award during the Department of Animal Science External Awards Program held Wednesday, April 23. The award was presented to Klett by Dr. Tryon Wickersham, Associate Professor of Animal Nutrition in the Department of Animal Science.
Dr. R. Hollis Klett’s leadership in the field of ruminant nutrition and beef cattle production spans 55 years. His research on using liquid feeds for supplementing beef cattle forever changed the face of the cattle-feeding industry. Now owner and president of a major corporation and research facility, he is committed to the long-term economic and environmental sustainability of cattle production.
A native of Menard, Texas, and an identical twin, Hollis Klett was an animal science major at Texas A&M, where he was a member of the wool judging and livestock judging teams. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1958, he worked as a ranch manager in Mississippi for three years before returning to Texas A&M to earn his master’s degree in 1963. After earning his doctorate at Oregon State, Dr. Klett taught animal science at Louisiana State University and then became a professor and researcher at Texas Tech University.
In 1972, Dr. Klett presented a groundbreaking paper on feeding urea in liquid supplements at an American Feed Industry Association conference in Chicago. From that meeting, he went on to present his research and conduct demonstrations in Kenya and Uganda, study cattle breeds in Europe, and travel around the world as a nutrition consultant and researcher, earning international acclaim and changing the face of the cattle feeding industry forever.
In 1974, Dr. Klett accepted a feedlot nutritionist position with Nutrition Service Association of Illinois where he served as a consultant for as many as 20 feedlots in Texas, Arizona, California, Kansas, and Mexico. In 1986, after managing the Southwestern Division for 12 years, Dr. Klett purchased the company. Today, he is the president and major shareholder of XF Enterprises, the holding company for Nutrition Service Associates, which he expanded throughout the U.S., Canada, and Australia to now represent over 2.5 million feedlot cattle. XF Enterprises also comprises feed and supplement manufacturer Xtra Factors and three other companies.
Dr. Klett also owns the Klett Ranch in Tucumcari, New Mexico, and the 22,000-head OT Feedyard and Research Center in Hereford, Texas. The center collaborates with industry and commercial groups, as well as with Texas A&M and West Texas A&M Universities, to provide student internships. Dr. Klett was inducted into the American Feed Industry Association Hall of Fame in 2006.
Business partner and friend Keith Hansen, vice president of XF Enterprises, says, “In all of Dr. Klett’s ventures, serving agriculture throughout the world, he has credited his success to his association with the Animal Science Department at Texas A&M.”
Dr. Klett has shown his commitment to the future of Animal Science by establishing the Klett Family Beef Nutrition and Livestock Judging Endowments. He supports a graduate assistantship in beef cattle nutrition, hosts the Jim Theeck Beef Cattle Tour at his research feedyard, and provides the Nutrition Service Association scholarship. He has mentored countless students as they transitioned to the industry. He was a Mays Business School “Aggie 100” recipient in 2011 and was named an Honorary Lifetime Member of the Saddle & Sirloin Club in 2012.
Hollis Klett and his wife, Oleta, have been married for 18 years. Oleta has a son and a daughter and six grandchildren. Dr. Klett has a son and a daughter, three grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. His son, Wes, is chief operating officer of XF Enterprises. So far, 10 Kletts have attended Texas A&M.
Academic colleague, company associate, and longtime friend Dr. Bob Albin, Professor Emeritus at Texas Tech University, says, “Dr. Klett has distinguished himself in academia and the business communities on a national and international scale. And he has never waivered in his support and commitment to Texas A&M.”
Tryon Wickersham considers Klett a mentor and friend and said, “Dr. Klett is a rancher, feedyard owner, nutritionist, businessman and mentor, but most importantly, he is an Aggie and lives his life in accordance with the traditions, beliefs and principles instilled at Texas A&M and held with such great conviction by its former students. Honor, loyalty, service and dedication permeate his business career and family life and are the guiding mantra in the varied and far reaching accomplishments of his career.”
The Animal Science Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes a graduate of the Department of Animal Science at Texas A&M University who has built a distinguished career in animal science and brought honor to the Department of Animal Science and the field of animal science. Dr. Hollis Klett has set an excellent example for current and future animal scientists and embodies the true spirit of the Outstanding Alumni Award.
For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Maggie Tucker at firstname.lastname@example.org or (979) 845-1542.