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Galen and Lori Fink named 2024 Stockman of the Year

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

Galen and Lori Fink were recognized on Feb. 29 as the 2024 Stockman of the Year. The award is presented annually by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council (LMIC) at the annual Stockmen’s Dinner at the Stanley Stout Center in Manhattan, Kan. 

Galen and Lori grew up on eastern Kansas farms, learning the importance of sound decisions in cattle judging, business and leadership. The couple met at Kansas State University (KSU) and married in 1975. 

Galen spent 14 years managing the KSU Purebred Beef Unit, while Lori served as secretary fieldman of the Kansas Angus Association from 1979-90.

Utilizing technology to create a solid genetic program

In 1990, after having their daughter Megan, the couple took a leap of faith and left their day jobs to put all of their effort into a program to create cattle that worked for a growing base of commercial customers. 

All along they’ve chosen to invest in their cows first. Land came later, and still today, they own very little equipment.

Despite lacking their own land, the couple, driven by a passion for innovation, utilized technology, including embryo transfer and artificial insemination, to build the Fink Beef Genetics program in a non-traditional manner. 

Starting by placing embryos in other people’s cows, they pioneered an approach, becoming the first in the U.S. to develop such a program.

Through the years, the Fink Beef Genetics operation flourished, currently headquartered in Randolph, Kan. on land purchased in 2006. The couple’s unique thinking and dedication has led to a program which implants more than 800 embryos annually, hosts two sales a year and offers more than 600 bulls annually through private treaty.

In 1999, Charolais was introduced to the program, providing customers with additional breeding options. 

In 2017, Fink Beef Genetics expanded their offerings by introducing Copperhead bulls – a blend of Charolais and Red Angus – aiming to provide even more choices for their customers.

Unwavering commitment recognized over the years 

Committed to customer service, the Finks have worked with U.S. Premium Beef, Angus and Charolais GeneNet and Meyer Natural Angus, as well as developed several feedlot partnerships to help customers get premiums.

Galen and Lori have both served as leaders in numerous industry organizations, and Fink Beef Genetics has garnered numerous awards, including being named 2000 Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) Seedstock Producer of the Year, 2001 KSU Alumni and 2008 Certified Angus Beef, LLC Seedstock Commitment to Excellence Award. 

They were honored as the 2011 American International Charolais Association Producer of the Year, and Galen was presented with the BIF Pioneer Award in 2021.

This article was originally published by KSU Research and Extension News Service on Feb. 16.

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