Beef Improvement Federation

Kirkpatrick Presented Continuing Service Award

MANHATTAN, Kan. – The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented David Kirkpatrick, Knoxville, Tennessee, a BIF Continuing Service Award June 10 during the group’s 52nd annual meeting and symposium hosted online.

Continuing Service Award winners have made major contributions to the BIF organization. This includes serving on the board of directors, speaking at BIF conventions, working on BIF guidelines and other behind-the-scenes activities. BIF is a volunteer organization; it is this contribution of time and passion for the beef cattle industry that moves BIF forward.

Kirkpatrick, a native of Shattuck, Oklahoma, earned his bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University, master’s from New Mexico State University, and doctorate from the University of Tennessee. Kirkpatrick dedicated his entire career as genetics extension leader for the University of Tennessee. He regularly attends the BIF Research Symposium and Convention and was committee chairman for the 1989 convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

A seasoned leader, Kirkpatrick has served in several industry leadership roles. While serving as the superintendent of the National 4-H Livestock Judging Contest, he was responsible for including performance data on judging classes. Kirkpatrick has served as director of the Tennessee Bull Evaluation Station for nearly four decades and established the criteria for “genetically superior” bulls in each breed for the three categories of calving ease, balance and terminal sires. In addition, he developed extension educational programs to teach producers how to use expected progeny differences (EPDs) and conducted extension training sessions and producer meetings across Tennessee.

The Tennessee Agricultural Enhancement Program (TAEP) was established by the Tennessee legislature and included major funding for beef cattle genetics; in 2016, Kirkpatrick worked with TAEP administrators to increase funding for bulls with genomically enhanced (GE) EPDs, allowing producers to receive 25% more funding to purchase bulls with GE EPDs. In 2018, he developed an online bull calculator to determine cost share eligibility.

“The goal for this program has been to improve Tennessee cattle genetics – increasing the quality, value, marketability and reputation of Tennessee cattle,” says Gordon Jones, BIF board member. “Dr. Kirkpatrick has been the major educational leader in accomplishing this goal.”

To date, more than 1,200 beef producers, academia and industry representatives have registered to participate in the organization’s 52nd Annual Research Symposium — Online. 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 meeting and tours, visit





The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) is an organization dedicated to coordinating all segments of the beef industry — from researchers and producers to retailers — in an effort to improve the efficiency, profitability and sustainability of beef production. The organization was initiated more than 50 years ago to encourage the use of objective measurements to evaluate beef cattle. Continuing the tradition, BIF is now the clearinghouse for developing standardized programs and methodologies for recording of performance data for all traits, from birth weights to carcass traits. Its three-leaf-clover logo symbolizes the link between industry, extension and research.