30 CALF News • August | September 2020 • www.calfnews.net was a financial partner. He first talked to Willard Wall who was already estab- lished in the distribution business, but Wall turned him down. Wall was quoted years later saying,“It may have been my biggest career mistake.” Hummel then approached Loughlin and, as the story goes, Hummel’s con- tribution of $10,000 was to come from the sale of his house with or without wife, Carol’s, knowledge as far as anyone knows. Chub Kline, Hummel’s presenter at the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame Awards Banquet in February, explained how that all happened.“I asked Jim one day why he took such a chance on the young 30-year-old Hummel, and he stated, ‘with Bob’s air of confidence, cigar in this mouth, leaning back in my chair with his feet propped on my desk, I didn’t see him going away, so how could I refuse him?’” Kline is one of Hummel’s long-time employees, working for Dr. Bob for 36 years. “It is now May of 1967,” Kline con- tinued.“Bob and Jim are in an airplane headed to Denver, Colorado, to find a banker, set up a business, find a location and get a business started from scratch. In two days, they secured a banker, set up the business, found a location and started their new venture, which became active on May 16, 1967. H EROES AMONG US Entrepreneur Dr. Bob Hummel played a pivotal role in the animal health distribution and technology revolution. By Betty Jo Gigot Publisher Photos courtesy Hummel family LEFT: Dr. Bob Hummel and the late Jim Loughlin partnered in the highly successful Lextron/Animal Health International company. A Hell of a Ride been celebrating corporate secretary Bonnie Sowder’s retirement after 33 years with the company. A long trail After graduating from The Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a doctorate in veteri- nary medicine in 1961, Hummel joined American Cyanamid Company as a tech- nical service veterinarian. While there, he met and worked with Jim Loughlin, Cyanamid’s feed additive distributor. Working in the California territory, Hummel realized that, although the West Coast cattle feeders had an advantage in avail- ability to advanced technology, the crops and the cattle were actually in the Midwest. He came to believe that the industry would move east into the Plains and he wanted to be a part of it; all he needed W hile going through the breakfast buffet line in the hotel after a company celebration the night before, I heard a familiar voice. “It’s been a hell of a ride, Jim,” came the refrain from my old boss. Dr. Bob and Jim Loughlin were reminiscing about their forty-some-year partnership and what a ride it had been for Animal Health International. The occasion had Publisher’s note: Not long after I left Lextron, Inc., to join CALF News , I began writing stories about the history of the cattle feeding industry. I had the opportunity to interview many of the major players who pioneered the industry, including Willard Wall, who is featured in my Recollections column in this issue. I also asked Dr. Bob Hummel, my former boss, for an interview. He replied that he was not ready to be history. He still isn’t, but after earning the 2019 Cattle Feeders Industry Leadership Award, his story was told and it is a history to be remembered. Here’s to Dr. Bob.
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