“There is a reason the rear view mirror is so small and the windshield is so big,” says 2014 Kansas Stockman of the Year Lee Borck about his outlook on success. Looking up the road through the beef industry's windshield

The award was presented to the progressive leader on March 6 by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council at Kansas State University (KSU).

Agriculture runs deep in Borck’s veins after being raised on a farm outside Blue Rapids, Kan., which his grandfather homestead.

This led him to pursue a degree in ag econ from KSU and after graduation in 1970, Borck started a career with the Larned Production Credit Association for eight years.

In 1979, Borck went back to the production side of agriculture after taking an opportunity to partner in Ward Feed Yard, Inc., a 25,000 head capacity feed-yard in Larned, Kan.

“It looked more exciting to be on the borrowing side and not the lending side of things,” laughs Borck. “And after that, the rest is history.”

History is exactly what he has made.

With a leadership resume that got its kick start after he helped form Beef Marketing Group in 1988 and later served the Kansas Livestock Association in 1992 as president, his involvement is felt heavily in the beef industry.

Borck attributes his immense participation to the desire to surround himself with forward thinkers who embraced change.

“KLA was a turning point in my career,” says Borck. “I made a lot of beneficial connections while serving an association that holds a lot of credibility.”

Two years later, Borck was president of Cattle-Fax.

His leadership also includes the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association board, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas State University Foundation and Chairman of the Executive Committee and the Investment Committee at Kansas State University.

Currently Bork serves as Chairman for the Innovative Livestock Services, Inc., and Chairman of Beef Marketing Group.

Almost 23 years after Borck began his leadership journey to meet the kind of people he wanted to be associated with, Kansas City’s Business Magazine Ingram’s named on their “50 Kansans You Should Know” list, along with NCBA’s 2009 Visionary Award winner and 2011 inductee into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame.

Through all his years in the beef industry, Borck says the biggest thing he’s learned is to keep a positive outlook during hard times and to be open to change.

Borck says he is honored to be the 2014 Kansas Stockman of the Year and attributes the award to all the people he’s been involved with throughout his years of service and business.

“This shouldn’t be a recognition of me, but of all the wonderful people and partners I’ve had the privilege to work with over the years,” says Borck.