wo more giants in cattle feeding history had their names added to the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame (CFHOF) during the CFHOF Banquet held at the Cattle Industry Convention & National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Trade Show in Houston. Established in 2009, the CFHOF recognizes men and women who have helped make cattle feeding the industry that it is today, said Randy Blach, CEO of CattleFax and emcee of the Jan. 31 banquet. The 2022 inductees are Tom Jones of Hy-Plains Feedyard LLC and Norman Timmerman of NA Timmerman, Inc. They joined the likes of Paul Engler, Kenny Montfort, W.D. Farr and 17 other members enshrined in CFHOF. Bill Pullen of Bill’s Volume Sales, Inc., and co-founder of Roto-Mix, received CFHOF’s Industry Leadership Award. Dave Mestl, also of NA Timmerman, received the prized Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award. Tom Jones was raised on a farm north of Garden City, Kan., and made the most of his roots in southwest Kansas. While considering junior college, he landed a job at Brookover Feed Yards in Garden City. “It was 49 years ago that I walked onto Brookover,” he remembered during his acceptance speech. “I was excited. They still had wooden bunks then. They handed me a shovel for rat control.” (Old-time feedyard hands will understand that stately position.) Earl Brookover (a 2017 CFHOF inductee) admired his ambition. He helped make sure Tom learned every area of feedyard duties. “As I neared completion of junior college, Mr. Brookover asked me, ‘You’re going to K-State, right?’ He loaned me the money to attend,” Jones said. He added, jokingly, “Mr. Brookover loaned you just enough money to hang yourself. But I can’t thank that company enough for all I learned.” Jones also worked in the packing industry, namely IBP, and later Hy-Plains Dressed Beef, which is now part of the National system in Dodge City, Kan. In 1999, he put together an investment group to purchase Hy-Plains Feedyard in Montezuma, Kan. He recognized early on the need for changes in the cattle industry and enjoyed numerous successes in improving cattle performance at the feedyard and the packing plant. In 2017, he opened the Hy-Plains Education and Research Center, which strives to educate producers and consumers on beef safety and quality. Jones was among the early feeders who experimented with the concept of crossing quality beef breed bulls with dairy breed heifers and cows. “Seven years ago, [the late] Dean Gigot came to me with the idea to get into the dairy-cross business,” he said. “He already fed cattle with me and had the resources to handle the risk. We brought in a team to improve the dairycross process.” There were many challenges the first few years. But now, the dairy females are producing calves that grade an average of 91 percent Choice. One dairy involved in the program is producing calves that grade “20 to 30 percent Prime,” Jones said. He recognized many other beef producers, researchers and agribusiness reps. They included Gina Gigot of Thunderstruck Farms in Garden City, whose family operates a large, irrigated grain farm. Tom worked with her, utilizCattle Feeders Hall of Fame Feeding Industry History Stands Tall in Houston COVER STORY T By Larry Stalcup Contributing Editor New CFHOF inductee Tom Jones, right, is presented the award by Don Close of RaboBank. BELOW: NCBA Past President JD Alexander enjoys visiting with Barbara Jackson (left) and Betty Jo Gigot (right) at the CFHOF event. Photo by Burt Rutherford 22 CALF News • April | May 2022 •