MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented the Roy A. Wallace Memorial Scholarships to Logan Elliott and Lane Giess July 3 during the group’s Annual Research Symposium and Convention hosted in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. These scholarships were established to encourage young men and women interested in beef improvement to pursue those interests as Wallace did, with dedication and passion.
Logan Elliott, Asbury, Missouri, is this year’s undergraduate winner. He currently attends Kansas State University where he majors in animal sciences and industry.
Elliott was a member of the K-State College of Agriculture Ambassadors and served as the director of public relations and marketing for the Blue Key Senior Honor Society. He is currently the president of Collegiate Cattlemen’s Club.
“My long-term goal is to have a diversified farm with an emphasis on livestock production and gain additional experience in agronomy so that I can have supplemental crop production,” Elliott says. “More precisely, I want to expand my herd of registered Hereford cattle so I can sustain myself and my family by selling beef directly to consumers.”
The graduate student award was presented to Lane Giess, Fort Collins, Colorado. Giess is currently working on his doctorate degree at Colorado State University.
“My PhD program has allowed me to hone my skills as a geneticist, while still focusing on developing applicable and practical science for commercial cattlemen,” Giess says. “The goal of my present research is to develop a multi-breed heifer pregnancy genetic evaluation which provides improved selection for heifer fertility while also promoting younger ages at first calving.”
He completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at K-State. After completing his master’s, he was named director of nontraditional and commercial data programs for the American Simmental Association (ASA), where he worked to develop unique data programs to collect rare and meaningful data from Simmental membership as well as worked directly with the International Genetic Solutions science team. In October 2022, he was named ASA’s lead geneticist.
“From my vantage point as both a researcher, industry professional and cattleman, it is easy to see there is still a consistent need for the improvement of genetic technologies and uniform data collection in beef cattle,” Giess says. “I am keenly familiar with the need for standardized data collection practices, and I hope my current and future research efforts can add to the existing wealth of knowledge BIF provides.”
The Roy A. Wallace Beef Improvement Federation Memorial Fund was established by Select Sires to honor the life and career of Roy Wallace. Wallace, who worked for Select Sires for 40 years, served as vice president of beef programs and devoted his life to the improvement of beef cattle. He became involved with BIF in its infancy and was the only person to attend all of the first 40 BIF conventions. He loved what BIF stands for — bringing together purebred and commercial cattle breeders, academia and breed associations, all committed to improving beef cattle. Wallace was honored with both the BIF Pioneer and BIF Continuing Service awards, and co-authored the BIF 25-year history, Ideas into Action.
Two $1,250 scholarships are awarded each year, one to an undergraduate and the other to a graduate student. Criteria for selection include a demonstrated commitment and service to the beef cattle industry, along with a passion for the areas of beef breeding, genetics and reproduction, academic performance, and personal character.
More than 300 beef producers, academia and industry representatives attended the organization’s 55th Annual Research Symposium and Convention in Calgary, Alberta. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.
For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of symposium and an archive of the presentations, visit BIFSymposium.com.