Colorado State University officials named a national cattle-industry executive as Livestock Leader for 2000 at the conclusion of Colorado State Day at the National Western Stock Show.
Topper Thorpe, executive vice president of Denver-based Cattle-Fax, earned this year’s award, a designation that recognizes outstanding contributions to the livestock industry in Colorado.
The Castle Rock resident is the 30th recipient of the Livestock Leader award. Winners are nominated and voted upon by faculty from Colorado State’s Department of Animal Sciences. The presentation was made at a College of Agricultural Sciences alumni social Saturday that capped a day’s worth of university-related events at the stock show.
"It is always a pleasure to recognize someone who has made unique and significant contributions to one of this state’s major industries," said Kirvin Knox, vice provost for agriculture and university outreach and dean of the college, who presented the award. "Colorado State has a century and a quarter of teaching, research and public service to agriculture in Colorado, and our regard for Topper Thorpe’s service to the ranching industry reflects both his and our commitment to that field’s future."
As a leader of Cattle-Fax, Thorpe, 57, helps provide market information, analysis, research and educational service for cattlemen. The firm is owned and directed by cattle producers and feeders who are members and who get timely market information, analyses and forecasts for use in marketing, risk management and planning.
Thorpe also is executive vice president of CF Resources Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Cattle-Fax that provides seminars, training, consulting, surveys and special research projects for individuals, agribusiness firms and industry organizations.
The Livestock Leader awards were given by Colorado State from 1960-1973 and again in 1976. The awards resumed in 1986 and continue through the present.
"This award recognizes contributions to animal agriculture in Colorado and beyond," said David Ames, professor of animal sciences and former department head who reinstituted the program in 1986. "We find that winners tend to exert regional and national influence."
Randy Blach, director of marketing analysis at Cattle-Fax, has worked with Thorpe for the past 20 years.
"Topper has been with Cattle-Fax since day one, and he’s not only made a major contribution to Cattle-Fax and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, he’s also had a significant impact on the cattle business in general," Blach said.
"He’s provided a lot of vision and insight to cattle producers all over the United States and throughout the world regarding the long-term direction and overall economic situation of the beef and cattle industries. His dedication and industry insight would be matched by few people.
"He’s a man who’s really deserving of that award."
A native of New Mexico, Thorpe earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business in 1964 and a master’s in agricultural business in 1968 from New Mexico State University. After serving in the military, he became a market analyst for Cattle-Fax in 1968 when the firm was established.
He has three children, all Colorado State University graduates and all involved in agriculture.