Dick Monfort Named 2012 Colorado State University Livestock Leader

Iconic cattleman helped put Colorado on beef market map.

Published on: Dec 27, 2012

Dick Monfort, scion of one of the West's most prominent cattle families, will be honored Jan. 19 as the Colorado State University's Livestock Leader of 2012.

The trophy is awarded via CSU's Department of Animal Sciences each year to a leader in the state' livestock industry.

He is singled out as a "champion" of the nationwide beef industry, and for "high-impact" philanthropy in agriculture.

Monfort is owner of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball franchise. Before that, he worked for 25 years in the cattle business, and headed his family's renowned beef business, Monfort of Colorado.

That firm helped put Colorado in the beef marketing map in the U.S., establishing the state as a  pivotal cattle feeding and meatpacking empire.

Colorados livestock industry honors Dick Monfort for bringing beef recognition to the state.
Colorado's livestock industry honors Dick Monfort for bringing beef recognition to the state.

The Livestock Leader Award will be presented during a reception Jan. 19 during the National Western Stock Show in Denver, highlighting CSU Day at the show, which includes events for university employees, alumni and guests.

"We are extremely proud to honor Dick Monfort," says Kevin Pond, head of CSU's Department of Animal Sciences.

Monfort was picked for innovations that helped shape the beef cattle feeding and meatpacking industries in the U.S., he adds. Monfort's grandfather and father both received the honor.

For 26 years, the department has recognized a Colorado livestock leader for their contributions that advanced the ag industry.

Warren Monfort, Dick's grandfather and co-founder of Monfort, Inc., was honored in 1968; Ken Monfort, Dick's father, received the award in 1987.

Dick took the reigns as Monfort president and also as chief executive of ConAgra Red Meats Co. , retiring in 1995. Operations founded by the Monforts are now owned by JBS, an international food processing company.

Monfort's impact on Colorado ag continues. The CSU Department of Animal Sciences is home to the Monfort Chair in Meat Sciences in the Center for Meat Safety and Quality.