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Excellence Puts OSU Manager into Pork Hall of Fame

by 5m Editor
28 February 2008, at 12:50pm

OKLAHOMA - Kim Brock is a revered figure in agricultural circles. He has led two national championship livestock judging teams while also making money for OSU selling high-dollar, purebred pigs.

What's more, his students have gone on to lead university animal research programs or work for major pork producers. And more recently, Brock was awarded a very high honour and inducted into the Oklahoma Pork Hall of Fame.

"I still think they got the wrong guy. It makes me feel older than I want to feel," he said.

In an article in Tulsa World Brock says he maintains a youthful outlook by keeping busy running the OSU Swine Research and Education Center on the outskirts of Stillwater. He oversees several assistants, five student workers and an ever-changing cast of more than 100 sows, piglets and boars.

Brock's impact goes much deeper than that, according to those who know him, like Roy Lee Lindsey, executive director of the Oklahoma Pork Council and an OSU alumnus.

"We tried to count the number of young people who've worked for Kim on that swine farm and went out to the business and we can't count them," said Lindsey.

Switched from Dairy

Brock didn't grow up on a hog farm, at least not initially, but his father's dairy operation in southwest Missouri taught him a lifelong lesson in the value of hard work.

His academic career at OSU ended with his 1979 graduation, but his ties to the university were really only beginning. He was immediately hired to manage the old swine farm near Oklahoma 51. The new facility, which opened a little farther north in 2005, offers him a state-of-the-art laboratory for genetic studies and a chance to raise world-class show pigs. One of his swine, a purebred boar, sold for $70,000 at an auction several years ago.

"No other university or college has sold a pig for more than that," Brock proudly pointed out. Another of his passions is judging livestock for youth competitions and teaching students to do it better than their competitors. His 1981 and 1991 OSU livestock judging teams won national championships.

Brock believes his career work at the swine center focuses on three main purposes. First is teaching, second is research and last, but not least, is raising the best purebred swine possible.

"It's why I'm here," he said.

The manager's optimism has also made believers out of reticent swine students passing through his OSU classes.

To read the full story click here.

5m Editor