Below is a list of the past honorees of the American Feed Industry Association’s Liquid Feed Hall of Fame award.
J. Randy Davis
J. Randy Davis, business development manager of Quality Liquid Feeds, Inc. (QLF), is the 2023 Liquid Feed Hall of Fame inductee. Since 1998, when Davis joined QLF in management, his services in the AFIA Liquid Feed Committee have stood out. After QLF acquired its Florida plant and associated business, Davis chose to return to his roots, serving as the model to grow the company’s presence in the southeast. His interest in learning, ability to quickly assess situations and potential solutions and wealth of practical experience continues to leave behind a legacy of expanded exposure, acceptance and usage of liquid feed supplements and mill products.
Planning Committee for the First Liquid Feed Symposium
The small group of folks that met in Chicago to plan the first Liquid Feed Symposium had an incredible impact on the liquid feed industry. First held in Omaha, Neb. In 1971, AFIA’s Liquid Feed Symposium has continued for fifty years. Each year leaders and supporters of the liquid feed industry convene to hear the latest on nutrition, transportation, ingredient price forecasts, weather, consumer trends and more. Undoubtedly, this forward-thinking group that met more than 50 years ago couldn’t fathom the impact that their event would have. We salute their passion and dedication.
Joe Harris, Ph.D., executive vice president of Westway Feed Products, landed a spot in AFIA’s Liquid Feed Hall of Fame in 2019. Harris’s innovative thinking and knowledge of chemistry led him to develop many new liquid feed products and earn seven patents on methods, treatments and processes used in the feed industry. Perhaps the most notable is the one for the SweetCake tub production technology, which ensures the targeted and consistent intake of liquid feed with every bite. His teachings have also contributed to the growth and continued expansion of the liquid feed industry.
Over the past 33 years, Kirk Bowman has become a highly regarded leader in designing facilities and systems for specialized feed production and transportation. He currently serves as director of operations for PerforMix Nutrition Systems, where he is responsible for overseeing the operations of three liquid suspension facilities and one dry mineral premix plant. Throughout his career, he has been instrumental in designing and building four facilities from the ground up in Idaho and Washington, as well as redesigning an existing plant in Kansas. He has also designed several custom feeding solutions, transportation tankers and trailers to meet the needs of liquid feed transportation, and custom software solutions unique to the liquid feed industry. He served on AFIA’s Production Compliance Committee for several years. Before working with PerforMix, he managed the University of Idaho’s feed mill facilities for two years and served as a nutrition consultant for dairy operations in southern Idaho. He holds a bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Idaho. He and his wife Joyce have three adult children.
Joe Saini, one of the liquid feed industry's early pioneers, has had a long and diverse career. He currently serves as a consultant to Quality Liquid Feeds, a liquid feed products manufacturer in Dodgeville, Wis., which he co-founded in 1981. Saini served as vice president of operations and procurement for the organization from 1981 until his retirement in 2010. Prior to that, he served as regional manager for National Molasses from 1977-80 and as director of operations for Illinois Liquid Feed from 1972-77. Saini grew up on a sugarcane farm in Ralhan, Punjab, India. He received a master's degree in agriculture from Punjab Agriculture University in Ludhiana, Punjab, and immigrated to the United States in 1971. With a group of friends, he also co-founded the Saini School in Ambala, India, which provides education for 700 children living in poverty each year.
William Hillis, Ph.D.
William Hillis, Ph.D., is the owner of Trophy Wildlife Supplements, a company that produces dried deer supplement blocks. Prior to that, he was employed at Four Seasons Marketing, LLC, Pacific Molasses Company/PM Ag and the National Molasses Company. Hillis is credited with collaborating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in developing standards for clearance of new additives – monensin and bovatec – in liquid feeds. While at the National Molasses Company, he also helped develop nutrition standards and quality control programs. During that period of employment (1972-77), the National Molasses Company grew to be the largest liquid feed manufacturer of its time.
Tom Geary is the owner of Thomas Geary Consulting, where he consults on management and business development. Geary formerly served as the ruminant nutritionist at PMSWest, Inc., and the Western division manager at Westway Feed Products, LLC. Geary has dedicated 43 years of service to the liquid feed industry. He is credited with selling more than 15 million tons of liquid feed throughout his career. One of his most notable accomplishments is leading the expansion of suspension supplements in major Western feedlots and dairies. Geary served two terms on the AFIA Liquid Feed Committee. Geary earned a bachelor's degree in animal science and a master's degree in nutrition and physiology from California State University, Fresno, and an additional master's degree in business administration from Pepperdine University.
David Caldwell, Ph.D.
David Caldwell, Ph.D., is known in the liquid feed industry for wearing many hats from ruminant and equine nutritionist to part owner of Sunnyside Feed LLC in Mandan, N.D. In 1974, Caldwell began his career as a beef, dairy and horse nutritionist for the Wayne Feed Company and later became the chief nutritionist for the National Molasses Company. He has since remained in the liquid feed industry joining PM Ag Products, Inc., Cargill and Westway Feed Products as its Ruminant Nutritionist and Sales Manager for the Upper Midwest. Caldwell has served numerous terms on the AFIA Liquid Feed Committee as well as led the committee as chair. Raised on an Indiana farm, Caldwell grew up in the presence of beef cattle, swine, sheep, corn, soybeans and hardwood timber production. He attended Purdue University, receiving his bachelor’s degree in animal science. In 1968, he served two years in the U.S. Army and later completed his doctorate in animal nutrition at Purdue University.
Chet Fields, Ph.D., PAS
Chet Fields, Ph.D., founded C.L. Fields, Ph.D., Inc., an independent consulting company, that provided nutrition and management counseling to feedlots and ranches throughout North America and across the globe. He also served as a technical liaison to the feed, veterinary, pharmaceutical, meat packing, legal and insurance industries, universities trade associations and governmental agencies. In 1998, he joined one of his company’s clients, the U.S. Sugar Corporation, as the Manager of Product Development and Nutrition. The U.S. Sugar Corporation, which merged with Westway Feed Products, LLC in 2007, produces and markets molasses and liquid feed. During his tenure at the U.S. Sugar Corporation, Fields drafted a petition to the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) to delete the erroneous term “BRIX” from all feed definitions. This petition was presented by AFIA staff and approved by AAFCO, with the new definitions appearing in the 2008 AAFCO Official Publication. Fields was born in the Terrebonne parish of southern Louisiana. He served four years in the U.S. Coast Guard before earning a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness from Nicholls State College, later obtaining master’s and doctorate degrees in nutrition from the University of Kentucky. Fields retired from Westway Feed Products in 2012.
William Kunkle, Ph.D. (1948 – 2002)
William Kunkle, Ph.D., was posthumously inducted into the American Feed Industry Association’s Liquid Feed Hall of Fame. Kunkle served as the beef cattle extension specialist at the University of Florida for 22 years, where he worked tirelessly on behalf of the beef cattle industry, researching cattle nutrition. Kunkle conducted several research projects specific to liquid supplementation, funded by the Liquid Feed Committee’s Kenny Berg Research and Education Fund. His knowledge and skills as a scientist and teacher were exemplary. Kunkle had the unique ability to understand complex scientific concepts, which he communicated to a general audience. His thought-provoking ideas were a positive stimulus among his academic colleagues and commercial industry associates. Born in Hudson, Ohio, Kunkle earned his college degrees from Ohio State University. He served on the faculty of the University of Maryland’s Animal Science department, until relocating to Williston, Fla., from Columbia, Md., in 1980.
Jack Algeo (1922 – 2013)
Jack Algeo, former department head of Animal Science and Industry at California State Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo, Calif., earned the award in 2001. Born in 1921, Algeo has had a lifetime of industry experience over a distinguished career, including educator, consultant, researcher and Marine. After teaching at Washington State College and Cal Poly from 1948 to 1954, he served as the director of research and resident nutritionist for Sinton & Brown Company, Santa Maria, Calif., until 1959, when he started a private consulting and research practice. Algeo has not only consulted for national firms, but also globally, including firms in Jamaica, El Salvador, Sweden, China and Australia. He returned to Cal Poly in 1985, where he was appointed department head of Animal Sciences and Industry until retiring in 1992. Algeo received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in animal science, production and nutrition, from Washington State University. He served in the Marine Corps Reserve during World War II and the Korean War.
Findlay Pate, Ph.D. (1941 – 2006)
Findlay Pate, Ph.D., former director of the University of Florida’s Range Cattle and Education Center, was posthumously inducted into the Liquid Feed Hall of Fame in 2010. Pate had retired from the University of Florida/IFAS in June 2005, after 35 years of service, with the last 22 years as center director at the Range Cattle Research and Education Center in Ona, Fla. He was widely recognized for his support of county extension faculty, a visible component of Ona's research and education programs. Findlay conducted numerous research projects involving the use of cane-molasses-based supplements for use in private pasture cattle. Findlay had a least a dozen articles or abstracts published in the Journal of Animal Science as well as a dozen or more published research reports, nearly 20 extension publications and at least four review articles on this subject. He mentored several other researchers on liquid supplementation and was a sought-after speaker on this subject.
Jon Heindselman, president of H-H Agri Sales and Services of Durant, Okla., and J and J Agri Services, was inducted into the Liquid Feed Hall of Fame in 2009. Early in his career with Pacific Molasses Company, Heindselman served as an important part of the company’s entrance and success in introducing liquid feed as a nutritional supplement for livestock. He pioneered the original “suspension feed” technology and represented the company as a salesman, sales manager and terminal/liquid feed operations manager throughout much of the Southwest during his career with Pacific Molasses. He was employed by the firm from 1971-92. In 1993, he founded J and J Agri Services and H-H Agri Sales and Services and built his liquid feed plant in Sherman, Texas. He began marketing Nutri-Lix liquid supplements, as well as private-label liquid feed products for other companies. His primary goal has been to provide consistent, high-quality liquid feed products.
Ken Munsch, co-owner of the Cattleman’s Choice Loomix line of liquid feed products, was honored for his years of accomplishment in the industry when he was inducted into the American Feed Industry Association’s Liquid Feed Hall of Fame at the Liquid Feed Symposium.
Munsch began his career in the liquid feed business in 1975, a decision that would lead him to 36 years of success and achievement. In 1997, Munsch and his business partner, Mike Troska, purchased the rights to the Loomix product line and its dealer network to form the CCL line. With Munsch’s efforts, CCL has become a leader in technology and marketing and brought new business into the liquid feed industry with its innovative products and growth. Among Munsch’s accomplishments, he initiated open-top trough feeding in feedlots, a concept he introduced to hundreds of markets in many states. He created marketing and distribution programs that have allowed more than 1,000 agricultural businesses to enter the liquid feed sector. He was also instrumental in forming programs that created thousands of employment opportunities in the liquid feed industry.
Dean Hodge, Ph.D. (1927 – 2013)
Dean Hodge, retiring after 26 years with Purina Mills, Inc. as their director of Beef Cattle Research, was inducted into the Liquid Feed Hall of Fame in 2007. As early as 1970, Hodge was instrumental in redefining the liquid feed industry with research and development of high performance supplements. In the early 1980s, he was involved with the development of chemically hardened molasses blocks and roughage, reducing intake modifying supplements for feedlot cattle. Although his research has not been published in peer reviews because of confidentiality, Hodge has written numerous articles for industry publications. He is co-holder of four major feed patents and serves on the Purdue Alumni Association Board of Directors.
R. Hollis Klett, Ph.D.
R. Hollis Klett, Ph.D., conducted some of his first research projects while he was a faculty member at Louisiana State University. He was recognized early in his career for the values of liquid supplementation for dairy and beef cattle and continued with countless research projects while on the faculty of Louisiana State University, Texas A&M University, and Texas Tech University. As president of XF Enterprises, Inc., he started Anipro/Xtraformance Feeds, a national liquid range supplement company. Under his direction and guidance, XF Enterprises, Inc. has expanded its liquid presence and philosophy to Australia and Brazil.
Paul Duea (1926 – 2017)
Paul Duea has actively supported the liquid feed industry for over 50 years. Following his graduation from the University of Minnesota, Paul took a position as the county extension director for Selby County, Iowa, and later went to work for Cargill, where he was involved with the development of their liquid supplement operation. Duea also worked for Pacific Molasses for many years, where he helped to improve the quality, nutrient value and availability of liquid supplements. His interest in developing and improving markets for liquids over the years made him a highly respected contributor to the industry and after semi-retiring in 1991, he continued to work as a consultant for PM Ag and Westway Feed Products for several years.
Richard Rawlings began his career with the liquid feed industry as general manager of Prescription Premix of Billings, Mont., where he designed and built a liquid feed blending plant with an annual production of 25,000 tons. Later, while working at Agri Lines Corporation, Rawlings was responsible for converting a liquid blending facility into the first suspension feed plant in the state of Montana. In 1980, Rawlings went to work for Westway and was responsible for designing and building the first chemically hardened liquid block plant in Montana. As president of PerforMix Nutrition Systems, he secured a patent for the Regulated Liquid Feed Delivery System and was co-chairman in drawing up the citizen petition for the medicated feed clearance approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
Shur-Gro was one of the first companies to offer custom blended liquids for use in commercial feedlots. Shaggs served as a co-founder of the Shur-Gro business, established in Hereford, Texas, in 1963. By bringing innovation to the liquid feed business, using side mixers on mix tanks to improve stability of mixes, identifying the value of chelated trace minerals in liquids, working with drug and vitamin companies to prove stability and efficacy of their products in liquids, Skaggs became a pioneer and leader in the liquid feed business and helped to build the reputation of blends and suspensions within the commercial feedlot industry. Skaggs received his animal science degree from Texas Tech University and served two years in the U.S. Army.
T. Wayne Perry, Ph.D. (1919 – 2017)
T. Wayne Perry, Ph.D., earned his doctorate of animal sciences at Purdue University in 1956 and professor emeritus in 1989. Often called “the father” of liquid supplements due to his persistent research of more economical, quality liquid protein supplements. Perry demonstrated liquid supplements were the only cattle supplements that could be offered on a free choice basis. In 1964, Perry formulated Perdue 64, which serves as a model for today’s liquid supplements. His research with xanthum gum and colloidal clays demonstrated how to suspend non-soluble ingredients in liquid supplements. He researched hydrolyzed feather meal as a source for by-pass protein used in combination with urea and demonstrated this combination to be superior to soybean meal alone for finishing cattle. Perry has presented to AFIA’s Liquid Feed Symposium several times, and in 1991, was awarded a special recognition citation for his contribution to the liquid feed industry. He served on the Liquid Feed Committee as the university liaison for many years.
Kenny Berg (1935 – 2005)
Kenny Berg, founder of Quality Liquid Feeds, has been a driving force in the growth and success of the liquid feed industry. Beginning in 1958, Berg devoted his professional life to the liquid feed industry and was actively involved in many equipment and product innovations. He was the first in the United States to suspend high levels of fat and the first in the country to suspend bypass protein products. In 1959, to preserve the quality of liquid feed fed free choice, he invented an oak wheel lick feeder. Many popular articles written by Kenny Berg, supporting the successes and values of liquid feeds, have been featured in industry publications.
Richard Loomis was a pioneer of early free choice liquid feed supplements and one of the first to use liquid byproducts. Soon after joining his father's feed and seed business in the 1950s, Loomis saw the value of liquid supplementation of dairy and beef cattle. Working with a nutritionist, he formulated supplements to meet the varying needs of cattle using a unique concept of open trough consumption controlled liquid supplementation. This supplementing system is still being used throughout the country today.
Frank Rawlings (1911-1998)
Frank Rawlings played a significant role in the development of the liquid feed industry through his work in the sugar industry and his understanding of its associated byproducts. During the 1950s, Rawlings developed and patented several processes for the manufacturing of liquid supplements. Many of the processes he developed are still in use or have become the basis for newly developed processes. Many feed plants built under his direction and numerous companies and their successors licensed to use Rawlings’ patented technologies constitute the core of the current liquid feed manufacturing plants today.