Tom Brink, President & COO, J&F Oklahoma Holdings, Inc.   

Tom is vice president of cattle ownership and risk management for Five Rivers Cattle Feeding, the nation’s largest cattle-feeding company with 12 feedayards in seven states and a one-time capacity of over 960,000 head. Prior to his current position, Tom served in leadership roles with Conti Beef, the American Gelvbvieh Association and Cattle-Fax. Tom holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Animal Science and Agricultural Economics from Kansas State University.

Rick Funston, PhD, Assoc. Professor, University of Nebraska West Central Research & Extension Center

Rick specializes in beef reproductive physiology, reproductive management, beef systems and heifer development at the University of Nebraska’s West Central Research and Extension Center. His research interests focus on developing heifers at lighter weights and fetal programming effects on postnatal calf performance including carcass characteristics and reproduction. He also serves on the production and research advisory board of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Patsy Houghton, PhD., owner, general manager, Heartland Cattle Company

Patsy Houghton was raised on a large cow-calf operation near Tipton Kansas. She received her BS in Animal Science and MS in reproductive physiology from Kansas State University. Patsy then served as an instructor for California State University-Fresno, and as the Youth and Education Manager for the American Simmental Association prior to returning to school to earn a PhD in Ruminant Nutrition from Purdue University in 1986. Patsy held the position of KSU Northwest Kansas Beef Cattle Extension Specialist. In 1990 Patsy helped form Heartland Cattle Company, a premier heifer development facility in McCook, NE. She has also served as co-chair of NCBA's Cattleman's College Committee (1997 - 2008).

Scott L Lake, PhD, Asst. Professor, Animal Science University of Wyoming

Scott serves as an Extension livestock specialist for the University of Wyoming.  The focus of his research and Extension programs is heifer development, estrus synchronization, marketing, and feeder cattle development.  He currently oversees the University cow-herd and is working towards developing a production replacement heifer sale at the University.   

Trey Patterson, PhD, COO, Padlock Ranch

Since 2005, Trey has been with Padlock Ranch Company based out of Ranchester, Wyoming.  He now holds the position of Chief Operations Officer where he leads operations for the ranch and works with the management team to develop and implement strategies to improve profitability. Trey served as an Extension Beef Specialist for South Dakota State University for five years.  In this role he led state wide extension programs in beef cattle nutrition and management.  He also conducted research in the areas of management systems, water quality, and use of co-product feeds.  Trey earned his B.S. and M.S. in Animal Science from Colorado State University and Ph.D. in Ruminant Nutrition from the University of Nebraska.

Bob Weaber, PhD, Extension cow-calf specialist, Kansas State University

Dr. Robert “Bob” Weaber is assistant professor and cow-calf extension specialist at Kansas State University. Raised in southern Colorado on his family’s ranch, his formal education includes a BS in Animal Science with a minor in Ag. Economics (1993) and M.Agr – Beef Industry Leadership (1995) from Colorado State University.  Weaber worked for the American Gelbvieh Association for five years then returned to graduate school at Cornell University where he earned his Ph.D. (2004) in Animal Breeding and Genetics. While at Cornell, Bob served as Interim Director of Performance Programs for the American Simmental Association. Most recently he was a faculty member at the University of Missouri serving as state extension specialist in beef genetics. Weaber was recognized by the Beef Improvement Federation in 2011 with its Continuing Service Award.

Warren Weibert, Owner, General Manager, Decatur County Feedyard Oberlin, Kansas

Warren and his wife Carol own Decatur County Feedyard near Oberlin, Kansas. The feedyard, which recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, grew from about 18,000-head capacity to over 40,000 under Warren’s leadership. Warren has helped pioneer individual cattle management and value-based marketing, focusing on profits for retained ownership customers. Decatur County began using ultrasound scanning to measure backfat and ribeye size in cattle in 1987 and participated in the Strategic Alliances Pilot Project in 1992. Since 1994, the feedyard has employed the Accu-Trac sorting system to measure, track and manage each animal’s rate of gain, weight, backfat, ribeye size and hip height.

President & COO, J & F Oklahoma Holdings, Inc.