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150 Years of Kansas Beef

New Book Commemorates 150 Years of Kansas Beef

150 Years of Kansas BeefMANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Beef Cattle Institute and Frontier program commemorated the 150th anniversary of the state of Kansas with the release of the coffee table-style book "150 Years of Kansas Beef."

The book is dedicated to longtime Kansas rancher Jack Vanier, whose wife, Donna Vanier, made the project possible. The Vaniers own the CK Ranch in Brookville.

"With chapters reaching as far back as the great cattle drives of the 19th century, this historical and photograph-rich book will take readers through the challenges and triumphs of the Kansas beef industry over the last century and a half," said Justin Kastner, director of the book project and co-director of the Frontier program, a historical studies research program offered by the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

"Dozens of families contributed ranch histories, photographs and other paraphernalia to the project, he said. "We're grateful to the scores of families who have contributed to the project."

Chris Stephens, former development officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine, worked closely on the project with Kastner and Chris Gruber, the college's current director of development.

"It's difficult to imagine the rich history of the state of Kansas without acknowledging the social and economic impact the beef cattle industry has played in driving the state's progress," Stephens said. "One might say the same for one of Kansas' most prominent citizens, Jack Vanier, who has spent his entire life diligently working for the advancement of the state and Kansas agriculture. Jack's primary focus has always leaned toward beef cattle production -- an economic factor that touches the lives of every Kansan."

The Vaniers, both active philanthropists, have supported many community and K-State projects through the Vanier Family Foundation. The "150 Years of Kansas Beef” book dedication was a surprise Christmas gift to Jack Vanier from his wife.

"I don't have the opportunity to surprise Jack very often," Donna Vanier said. "This is why I want to honor his legacy as a prominent cattleman and astute businessman who has worked tirelessly for the state of Kansas."

The book can be ordered online. It was printed by Donning Company Publishers and delivered in summer 2011.

For more information, contact Steve Toburen at 785-532-1720 or stevetob@k-state.edu. Written requests can be mailed to: 150 Years of Kansas Beef, c/o Steve Toburen, Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, 1800 Denison Ave., Kansas State University, 310 Coles Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506.