What makes this industry so demanding and distinguishes it from other vocations? Former hall of fame inductee Roy Dinsdale shares one reason, “It’s a challenge every year between Mother Nature and me. Fortunately, we’ve won just a few more than Mother Nature.”

But weather isn’t the only variable that makes achieving success in this industry a challenge. There’s grain prices, consumer demand, cost of transportation, the fluctuating cattle market, land management and human resource issues. Handling all of those variables and being successful in spite of them takes a special kind of individual – the kind recognized annually since 2009 by the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame.

This year’s class is no exception – they’re considered tenacious, honorable, driven and visionary – and has achieved remarkable success, as recognized by their peers. On July 14, more than 400 members of the beef industry gathered in Westminster, Colorado, to honor these four individuals.

Robert Josserand and Loren Doll were inducted into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame, which recognizes two leaders annually who have made lasting contributions to the cattle-feeding industry.

Topper Thorpe was presented with the Industry Leadership Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated outstanding leadership, provided exemplary service and made significant contributions to the cattle-feeding business. Karla Olson received the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award, which is given to exceptional feedyard employees.


In his acceptance speech, Josserand, owner of AzTx Cattle Co., said the annual hall of fame event celebrates what the industry is all about – understanding what’s important in life, including family. He thanked his fellow cattlemen for being part of an industry that has the responsibility of feeding the world.

Doll, who has been in the cattle-feeding business for more than five decades, recognized the contributions of the many people he has worked with through the years. “Finding people smarter than you are in certain areas is key,” he said.

Long-time CEO of CattleFax, Thorpe also acknowledged the many people who have contributed to his success throughout his career. “Nothing I have accomplished in my life has been done by myself. I have worked with and met some of the greatest people in the world – those who produce beef,” he said.

The running theme throughout the evening seemed to be the recognition of the contribution of others – and when Karla Olson, the first female recipient of the Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award, accepted her award, she was no different. “I really enjoy what I do. And it is possible because of the support of my family and friends,” she said.

Besides recognizing the honorees, guests were inspired by keynote speaker Andy Andrews, author of more than 25 books, including the New York Times bestsellers, The Noticer and The Traveler’s Gift. Andrews’ message, “The Seven Decisions that Determine Personal Success,” concluded with a charge to everyone in attendance: “I don’t hope you do great things with your life, I expect you to,” Andrews said.

The evening also included the unveiling of a new organization, the Cattle Feeders Historical Society, which is dedicated to preserving the history of cattle feeding in the U.S. The National Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame and annual banquet will serve as one of the the funding mechanisms for the organization.

The 2015 Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame honorees

Robert Josserand

Robert Josserand
2015 Hall of Fame inductee

Robert Josserand, a native of Pratt, Kansas, is the owner of AzTx Cattle Co., which includes two feedyards in Texas and Kansas. Josserand served on the boards of directors of numerous livestock organizations, including the National Livestock and Meat Board in Chicago, Beef Industry Council and National Cattlemen's Association. He also is a past president of Texas Cattle Feeders Association and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. In 1988, he was commissioned as a member of the Texas Agriculture Task Force by former Governor Clements. Currently, Josserand is serving on the Llano Estacado Regional Water Planning Group.

Loren Doll

Loren Doll
2015 Hall of Fame inductee

Loren Doll has been in the cattle-feeding business for more than five decades, starting in 1961, when he and his father partnered with three Irsik brothers to construct and operate Ingalls Feed Yard. Over time, this feedyard grew from a one-time feeding capacity of 2,500 head to 40,000 head. In 1968, Doll became the managing partner and CEO of Irsik and Doll, a company that now operates seven commercial cattle feedyards in western Kansas with a one-time total feeding capacity of 215,000 head. Doll served as the managing partner and CEO of Irisk and Doll until 1989, and continued to provide leadership as a member of the board until 2004.

Topper ThorpeTopper Thorpe
2015 Industry Leadership Award recipient

In 1968, Topper Thorpe went to work as a market analyst at CattleFax, a company recognized for developing a unique database from information provided by its members, which is used extensively for analyzing and forecasting market trends. He served as the executive vice president and CEO for nearly 30 years, before retiring from CattleFax in 2001. Upon his retirement, Thorpe returned to livestock production with his wife, Leeann. They currently operate an irrigated family farm and stocker operation in the Gila Basin of New Mexico, where he serves on several local ditch associations, and at the state level, he serves on the New Mexico Interstate Stream Commission.

Karla Olson

Karla Olson
2015 Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award recipient

A lifelong resident of Hoxie, Kansas, Karla Olson grew up on her family’s dairy and farming operation. That work helped lay the foundation for her ultimate success at Hoxie Feedyard, where she began her career in 1976. Since she began working with Hoxie Feedyard, Olson’s oversight has grown to managing the office work associated with 53,000 head of cattle. Besides the cattle-related responsibilities, as office manager Karla is also charged with weighing millions of bushels of corn, along with processing payments and receipts for those millions of bushels. Olson hasn’t just grown with Hoxie Feedyard, she was instrumental in fostering that growth.  end mark

—From Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame news release