The Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, honoring those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.
Dr. Rankin was a true pioneer. He joined New Mexico State University (NMSU) in 1961 and retired in 2000. During his 39 years at NMSU, he helped livestock producers use systematic selection and crossbreeding for animals better suited to the Southwest. As an animal science professor, Rankin taught a class covering BIF Guidelines for calculating adjusted birth weights, weaning weights and yearling weights as well as ratios within contemporary groups. Most importantly, he taught his students why and how the guidelines were established. He was also an integral part in starting the Tucumcari Bull Test.
“Dr. Rankin was one of my favorite professors at NMSU. He is passionate about beef improvement and passed that desire on to future generations. He’s a great man, a great leader, extremely intelligent, a great teacher, and motivated me to be the best I could be. He made a big impact in my life and many others for beef improvement,” explained Heckendorn.
More than 300 beef producers, academia and industry representatives attended the organization’s 54th Annual Research Symposium and Convention in Las Cruces, New Mexico. 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 the meeting and tours, visit BIFSymposium.com.