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Cactus Feeders Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, Paul Engler Named Winner of 2006 AMI Industry Advancement Award

Thursday, October 5, 2006

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Paul Engler, co-founder and chairman of the board of Cactus Feeders in Amarillo, Texas, today was honored with the American Meat Institute’s (AMI) highest award – the Industry Advancement Award. The award was presented during the AMI Annual Convention and Innovation Showcase, October 4-6, 2006, in Hollywood, Fla.

A native Nebraskan, Engler became a partner in cattle feeding and grain operation in Nebraska in 1955. In 1960, he established the first large scale commercial feedyard in Texas. In 1972, he joined IBP, Inc. and initiated the establishment of the IBP plant at Amarillo – once the largest beef-slaughtering plant in the U.S. In 1975, Engler co-founded Cactus Feeders in Dumas, Texas, which at that time had a 40,000 head capacity. Today, Cactus Feeders is the world’s largest cattle operation with ten feedyards in the U.S. and one in Argentina. Cactus’ one-time feeding capacity in the U.S. is 520,000 head.

Engler’s mark was made not simply through size of his operation. Rather, it has been made through his early embrace of value-based marketing. Engler recognized that the live average method of selling cattle had created market inefficiencies. Cactus Feeders developed the first value-based marketing program and worked with major packers to secure financial incentives for high quality beef. This program enabled cattle producers to receive the true value for the animals they fed, thus encouraging quality. Today, this approach is in widespread use throughout the industry.

Calling Engler a “true partner,” AMI Chairman Robert Manly, executive vice president of Smithfield Foods, Inc., said, “While Paul’s understanding of the meat packing industry is clear, few people realize that the knowledge was gained firsthand, when he was Group Vice President, Carcass Division, for IBP in the early 1970s. Paul does not just understand us. He is one of us.”

“He has truly been a pioneer and has shown a willingness to embrace new technologies for the good of cattle production, the beef packing industry and ultimately the consumer,” Manly added.

Manly also acknowledged that it was Engler who led the now legendary charge when the beef industry felt it had been wronged by Oprah Winfrey’s comments about beef and BSE. “He may not have won in court, but he won our respect for fighting for what he believes in: U.S. beef,” Manly said.

For more information contact:
David Ray
Vice President, Public Affairs
Janet Riley
Sr. Vice President, Public Aff

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