1. K-State home
  2. »Research and Extension
  3. »News
  4. »News Stories
  5. »2016
  6. »Rishel Presented BIF Pioneer Award

K-State Research and Extension News

Rishel Presented BIF Pioneer Award

Bill RishelPhoto and caption available

Released: June 20, 2016

MANHATTAN, Kan. — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Bill Rishel, North Platte, Nebraska, a BIF Pioneer Award June 16 during the group's annual meeting and symposium in Manhattan, Kansas. The award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, and it honors those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.

Rishel Angus is known in the seedstock industry as one of the first to substantially commit to identifying and improving carcass merit. Likewise, Bill Rishel is recognized as a thought leader and mentor to many in the cattle industry.

He grew up on his family's diversified crop and livestock farm near York, Pennsylvania, and earned an animal husbandry degree from Pennsylvania State University. Rishel worked as assistant herdsman at Penn State while earning a master's degree in animal breeding.

He and his wife, Barb, married in 1966. He managed two Angus operations in New York, before developing Rishel Angus beginning in 1975. Rishel Angus has bred numerous bulls that have impacted the global beef industry, including B/R New Design 036, the No. 1 sire for Angus registrations in 2001 and 2002.

Rishel has devoted his life to serving the beef industry. He helped create Nebraska Cattlemen and served as chairman of that organization's first Seedstock Council. Rishel served as president of Nebraska Cattlemen in 2010. He has also served in leadership roles with the Cattlemen's Beef Promotion and Research Board, the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and the Nebraska Cattlemen's Classic.

From 1991-1996, Rishel served two terms as director of the American Angus Association. In 1996, Rishel was chairman of the Certified Angus Beef LLC board of directors.

In 2005, he and Barb received the BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year Award. He was named a Distinguished Animal Science Alumnus at Penn State and, in 2013, was inducted into the Nebraska Cattlemen's Hall of Fame.

The Rishels have three daughters and six grandchildren.

More than 600 beef producers, academia and industry representatives were in attendance at the organization's 48th annual convention. BIF's mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year's symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of the meeting and tours, visit BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit Beefimprovement.org.


K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus in Manhattan.

Story by:
Angie Stump Denton, communication coordinator, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry
785-562-6197 or angiedenton@ksu.edu