Through the ESOP, Cactus Feeders is entirely owned by its employees (Employee Stock Ownership Plan). We pay our staff twice: once as employees in the form of paychecks, and once a year as owners of the company in the form of shares. They receive 100% funded retirement benefits as Cactus Employee Owners at a rate that is twice the average retirement account balance in the country.
Since the creation of the plan in 1990, all of the company’s shares are owned by its employees. Since the business’s founding in 1975, more than 70 employees have accrued 20 or more years of service. Cactus Feeders, a company with more than 800 employees spread across Iowa, Texas, Kansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, is continually growing, adapting, and promoting the value of sustainable agriculture. We are committed to our purpose of “Feeding A Hungry World,” which has 800 employee owners.
What is Paul Engler’s age?
Paul Engler was raised in a 450-person rural Nebraska village. Paul discovered at a young age that his father preferred the cattle business above the family business, despite the fact that he owned a petrol station. Paul was given the task of caring for a cow on four acres of property when he was seven years old. Paul increased the cattle under his management to seven cows in less than two years after his father bought a small amount extra property. Paul had acquired more than 100 cattle by the time he was thirteen, working alongside his father. Paul recalls his father saying, ” “I’m proud of you, son, for continuing to understand the commercial and animal care aspects of the cattle sector throughout his boyhood.
Paul left the family farm after graduating from high school to attend the University of Nebraska for college. Paul’s father turned back to the gas station when he was in college and left the cattle business. After earning his degree, Paul worked for a company that traded cattle, purchasing feeder animals, before accepting a government position advising local farmers on how to increase agricultural yields. Paul left his government job because he didn’t like how predictable it was and started working for many well-known ranchers in Nebraska. Paul was particularly skilled at selecting and overseeing feeder cattle, which Louis Dinklage, one of the top ranchers at the time, observed. After a few years of working with Dinklage, Paul realized that West Texas was the ideal place for the gathering of cattle and grain for transport to other places, like California. Paul understood that cities in the Texas Panhandle, like Hereford, were perfect for large-scale cattle feeding operations due to the cities’ efficient supply chains and temperate environment.
Paul received a lucrative management offer from Iowa Beef Processors after founding the state’s first cattle feed business (IBP). Paul made a lot of money and had fun working for IBP. He returned to West Texas after three years to formally try to start a cattle feeding operation because, at the same time, he did not enjoy the processing side of the cattle industry. In 1975, Paul co-founded Cactus Feeders with Tom Dittmer as a partner. The tradition of exporting raw commodities, such as grain and locally produced beef, was reversed by Paul’s ambition to begin feeding cattle on a big scale in the Texas Panhandle. The world’s largest cattle-feeding business, Cactus Feeders, rose to prominence under his direction. Currently, cactus cattle account for at least 1 in every 25 cattle nationwide. Engler was a pioneer in the Texas cattle-feeding industry and was inducted into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame and the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame among other awards and recognitions throughout his career.
Paul Engler and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation committed to giving at least $1 million to West Texas A&M University every year for at least 80 years in 2017. In response, the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business received name rights from the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents.
The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business will receive at least $500,000 annually as a result of the kind donation for the foreseeable future. Each year, the college dean collaborates with the Engler Foundation to disburse funds for endowments that will support five different initiatives: community engagement, named spaces, professorships, scholarships, and professorships. Particularly, the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business has increased its endowments and assets for scholarships, professorships, and related student support by close to $2 million since 2017.
“Paul Engler and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation’s generosity and desire to invest in the future of the College of Business are greatly appreciated. The best corporate executive I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing is Paul Engler. He embodies a mix of tenacity, business sense, and resolution that embodies the regional community of West Texas’ entrepreneurial spirit. The Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business will always honor a history of transformative generosity from a genuinely outstanding donor committed to empowering people through education.
Dr. Neil Terry, former dean of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and provost of West Texas A&M University
The Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation is a family-run business that exemplifies Paul and Virginia’s commitment to their loved ones and the areas they serve, which includes the Texas Panhandle. Throughout her entire life, Virginia “Jinx” Joan Kreycik Engler was a devoted humanitarian. She delighted in assisting others and showed warmth and charity to everyone she encountered. The basis for their charity’s assistance with the community was laid by their kindness and generosity. The Engler Foundation has a long history of supporting higher education in the area, as seen by the many generations of future business leaders who have benefited from the Virginia Engler Scholarship at West Texas A&M University.
Along with improving educational opportunities for students, the link between West Texas A&M University and Paul Engler and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation also boosts the University’s standing and status. The Paul and Virginia Engler Foundation embodies the impact one may have on a community through hard effort, a willingness to lead, a dedication to charity, and a determination to succeed, which is consistent with the goal of WTAMU.
Paul has always worked, from his earliest years as a young lad working with cattle to his current business ventures in the energy sector. Louis Dinklage, one of Paul’s mentors, was regarded as the largest cattle feeder in the nation by the late 1960s. Under Paul’s direction, Cactus Feeders rose to prominence as the world’s largest cow feeding firm in 1985, following in the footsteps of his mentor.
Paul Engler, who was in excellent health and tremendous physical shape, turned 92 on August 23, 2021. When Dr. Terry questioned Paul about his aspirations for the future, Paul stated that he intends to continue working up until the age of 100. Thereafter, he may think about retiring or at the very least taking a long vacation.
Paul Engler: who is he?
On Friday, West Texas A&M University made the single greatest gift announcement in its history: a $1 million yearly pledge made in perpetuity.
The donation was provided in support of the university’s business and agriculture programs by Paul Engler and the Paul F. and Virgina J. Engler Foundation.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp made the announcement at an event in Canyon, saying, “We’re going to use this money and establish the darnedest agriculture school and the darnedest business school that you can possibly conceive.
The Paul and Virgina Engler College of Business and the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences were also unveiled by WT in recognition of the contribution.
Engler, a native of Nebraska who now resides in Amarillo, is regarded as a pioneer in the cattle-feeding sector in the Texas Panhandle.
He co-founded Cactus Feeders, a beef and pork producer with feedyards in Texas and five other states that he owns and operates.
Engler stated, “I truly want to acknowledge the value that this university brings to this 26-county region.
“So many of us take our university for granted, but given the contributions that both the business college and the agricultural college make, it’s critical that their standards be enhanced as well as stabilized.
Cactus Feeders’ size is what?
Market pigs and commercially fed cattle are produced by Cactus Feeders in Amarillo, Texas. Cactus Feeders, which was first established as a family business in 1975, is now entirely employee-owned. Its 800+ workers produce over a million fed cattle and 800,000 market hogs each year, with gross sales of feed and animals totaling around $2 billion. The business operates pig farms in Georgia, South Carolina, and the Texas Panhandle, as well as cattle feed yards all over the Texas Panhandle and Southwest Kansas. Cactus Feeders is committed to figuring out how to provide more food at a lower cost and with less resources.
For many years, Cactus Feeders has provided support to its local communities. In order to better assist, Cactus Feeders established the Cactus Cares Foundation in 2018. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit. Its main objective is to combat food insecurity in the areas where Cactus Feeders operates. Cactus Cares collaborates with neighborhood foundations and institutions to offer continuing assistance for food pantries as well as direct donations of beef and pork. Additionally, Cactus Cares offers mentoring and scholarships to young people so they can become leaders in their own communities.
Cactus Feeders believes that everyone’s prospects and lives are at stake in the survival and growth of their company, not simply the corporation’s projections or boardroom reports. Their objective is, “Family, friends, and neighbors must all be fed, and this needs a special comprehension and balancing of food production and natural resources. The preservation of such essential resources is essential to their mission’s continuation and future success.
Cactus Feeders’ employee-owners are passionate about figuring out how to provide more food with fewer resources and at a price that other people can afford. The world’s population will need 70 percent more food by 2050. They will contribute to this need by conducting in-depth study since they are aware that the majority of this growth must result from improvements in food production technology that raise productivity and aid in managing and conserving the natural resources that enable food production. With annual investments ranging from $1 million to $3 million, Cactus Feeders’ Cactus Research branch supports a wide range of conservation and sustainability initiatives.
The beef business of Cactus Feeders currently generates over 50 million meals each week utilizing total life cycle feed materials that are about 90% inedible to humans. A natural process of interdependent cycles is used in the production of both cattle and food. Through photosynthesis, plants use energy from the sun to remove CO2 from the atmosphere as part of the carbon cycle. Animals and people both eat these plant products. This growth is aided by water, and nutrients are returned to the soil for the crop the next year. People who are touched by the output and who give their labor and services to the production and the places in Texas where they live and work touch all of these. This method produces more than 2.6 billion meals annually at Cactus Feeders. They are aware that it will take conservation and stewardship to raise this much food repeatedly for years to come.
Intensive Rotational Grazing and Annual Forage Varieties for Restoring Soil Organic Matter in Farmland
Farmland’s soil organic matter is raised using a rotating grazing technique by Cactus Feeders. By enhancing soil’s ability to hold water and reducing the need for irrigation, this technology lowers water use. The concept works in tandem with their primary cattle feeding operation, ensuring a consistent supply of fit livestock ready for feed yards.
In the Texas Panhandle’s Moore and Sherman counties, Cactus Feeders uses 5,600 acres to encircle two of their feed yards. Corn was once grown on this property, but corn in the Texas Panhandle needs 22–27 inches of irrigation each season. The organic matter in the soil is probably 30–50% of what it was before to farming and before the Dust Bowl, despite the fact that the soil health is good, which is a credit to farming techniques and nutrient application restrictions.
According to Cactus Feeders, the soil will regain its former level of organic matter through extensive rotational grazing of cattle on annual forages that generate significant amounts of biomass from atmospheric carbon. A 1-percentage-point increase in soil organic matter is thought to enhance the amount of water that an acre can hold by 15,000–20,000 gallons, eventually reducing the requirement for irrigation. The cornerstone to Cactus Feeders’ operations is increasing soil organic matter since it not only retains water in the soil but also traps carbon from the atmosphere. After one cycle of intense grazing, Cactus Feeders found a 0.33 percentage point increase in soil organic matter.
Key executives of Cactus Feeders who are influencing this sustainability project include Dr. Paul Defoor (Co-CEO), Tres Hess (President of the Beef Division), Dr. Ben Holland (Director of Research), Pistol Audrain (General Manager of the Cactus Feedyard), and Tyler Dinkel (Grazing Manager). A project that allowed for the planting of improved grasses and forages on irrigated acres was born out of a vision shared by Paul and Tres and inspired by others’ research and experience. This project allowed for the efficient gain of calves that would eventually enter feed yards while also reintroducing carbon to the soil. Pistol Audrain and Tyler Dinkel were able to construct an intensive grazing system from a cotton and corn farm where fences were largely nonexistent thanks to their stockmanship skills and willingness to have a good impact on the development of Cactus Feeders.
The entire industry, not just Cactus Feeders, has benefited from Cactus Research’s innovation in cow feeding. According to Cactus Feeders, only through research can they be certain that their findings are not accidental and that their choices take into account the three pillars of sustainability (environmental, economic, and societal).
Cactus Feeders have seen unequivocal signs of change in their area. The Texas Panhandle has undergone several changes while being one of the last regions of the country to be populated and developed. Early environmental change occurred due to ranching in the late 1800s, farming’s last frontier in the 1910s and 1920s, and the Dust Bowl ecological calamity in the 1930s. The Texas Panhandle is where the nation learned a lot of what it knows about conservation as a result of the Dust Bowl. By the 1950s and 1960s, better farming techniques, the development of irrigation, the need for conservation, technical advancements, and these factors had made the region extremely productive. The area was ready for more innovation at this point in the history of our country, in the form of extensive cow feeding.
One of the original feed yards in the Panhandle is where Cactus Feeders got its start. Cactus Feeders has led through innovation, adaption, and growth ever since it was founded in 1975. They have been looking ahead, preparing for upcoming difficulties. Despite the acknowledged difficulties with groundwater security in the Panhandle, Cactus Feeders believes their region is about to undergo additional upheaval. Nonetheless, its objective is to continue to “Feed a Hungry World for a very long time. Cactus Feeders believes they can meet the challenge of ensuring the future of not only their own family, but also of the nearby towns, the state, and the entire planet, via conservation, sensible resource use, and progress.
Because Texas is essential to their business and culture, Cactus Feeders picked it as their home base. The Texas Panhandle is perfect for raising cattle and other livestock because it has a high elevation (almost 4,000 ft), a good climate (dry and breezy), and a plenty of food. Additionally, 60% of their employee-owners and respective families reside in the Panhandle. The people at Cactus Feeders are aware of the long history of cattle raising in Texas, the tenacity of the state’s cow culture, and their employees’ and clients’ commitment for raising standards of living both locally and globally.
It all starts in the heart of cow country, according to Cactus Feeders, where production systems may be improved to effectively generate high-quality protein from arid and semi-arid terrain like the Texas Panhandle with little to no groundwater irrigation. They will seek to maintain Texas’ strength, adaptability, and productivity in the future using what helped to construct the state.