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COLLEGE STATION — Frank C. Litterst ‘43 and Dr. James O. “Bo” Reagan ‘68, both graduates of the Department of Animal Science, will receive the Texas A&M University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Outstanding Alumni Award this fall.
The Outstanding Alumni Award recognizes graduates of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences for outstanding leadership and noteworthy contributions in agriculture, natural resources, life sciences or related areas.
The award will be presented during the College’s Legacy and Leadership Banquet on Oct. 25, 2014.
Litterst earned a bachelor’s degree in animal husbandry in 1943, and after graduation he worked in feed sales and operated a successful cattle business. In 1965, he started working for the Department of Animal Science as a beef cattle specialist and over time he traveled more than 350,000 miles to visit 2,400 Texas ranches and helped more than 12,000 ranchers improve their herds through his beef cattle short courses. In 1975, he became a senior lecturer in the department and taught three courses including Beef Cattle Production 406. Over the course of 14 years, he taught more than 8,000 Aggies. In addition, Litterst worked as the manager of the Texas A&M Beef Cattle Center.
In 1989, Litterst retired from Texas A&M and was awarded the title of Senior Lecturer Emeritus. Over the course of his career, Litterst became known to many beef cattle producers as the face of the Department of Animal Science and is considered a living legend and icon for the Texas beef industry and Texas A&M.
Litterst remains an avid supporter of the department by providing generous scholarships, and in 2013 he was presented the Department of Animal Science Outstanding Alumni Award. In addition, he received the Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Extension in 1975 and for Teaching in 1984, and received its highest honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009.
Reagan is a three-time graduate of Texas A&M, receiving a bachelors (1968), masters (1970) and doctorate (1973) in animal science with an emphasis in meat science. He has built a distinguished career as a prominent meat scientist through his efforts in academia and service to the livestock and meat industry on a state, national and international level. Reagan began his career in academia and worked as a faculty member at Oregon State University and then University of Georgia, rising through the ranks from assistant professor to professor. During this time, he taught meat science courses, coached meat judging teams, and developed an active research program focused on meat quality and meat safety.
In 1991, Reagan left academia to become director of research for the National Livestock and Meat Board and led the national check off research programs for both beef and pork. In addition, he led the industry’s efforts in developing technology for instrument grading, genome mapping and interventions to reduce incidence prevalence of pathogenic microorganisms on meat products.
From 1996 to 2013, he progressed from executive director of research to senior vice president, Department of Research, Education and Innovation for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. During this time, he led national research and education programs in areas of beef safety, meat quality, human nutrition research, culinary utilization and product development. Achievements include conducting the most comprehensive study of sustainability ever achieved by a human-food commodity, USDA acceptance of technology for instrument-grading (now used to assign official grades to 85 percent of U.S. beef carcasses) and development of the Beef Industry Food Safety Council (B1FSCo). BIFSCo is an industrywide coalition of US producers, packers and retailers; its objective is to develop “best industry practices” to minimize presence of human pathogens on beef products. Those practices are now used domestically and throughout the world.
Reagan has led many professional organizations and received numerous awards and honors during his distinguished career. Most recently, he serves as chairman of the International Stockmen’s Education Foundation. In 2013, he was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame, an honor reserved for industry leaders whose business excellence, scientific prowess and community service have enhanced the legacy of the U.S. meat industry.
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.