Engler Named Executive in Residence at WTAMU

Oct 13, 2011
  • Agriculture
  • Business

Engler Named Executive in Residence at WTAMU

COPY BY:    Rana McDonald, 806-651-2129,

CANYON, Texas—Officials at West Texas A&M University announced today the one-year appointment of Paul Engler, founder of Cactus Feeders, Inc., as executive in residence for both the College of Business and the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering.

The executive-in-residence position is designed to enhance the learning experience for students and support the teaching environment for faculty through the practical but valuable experience of a veteran business executive. Engler will serve as a guest lecturer throughout the academic year in various classes in both the College of Business and the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering. He also will assist in seminar presentations, help build the reputation of both the business and agribusiness programs and facilitate opportunities for students and faculty. Engler’s role also will help foster communication between the University and professionals in the field and help define the academic and professional landscape for students.

"The executive-in-residence position provides our students, faculty members and regional community a unique opportunity to work closely with distinguished business leaders. We are honored that a business icon like Paul Engler has agreed to serve in this capacity," Dr. Neil Terry, dean of the College of Business, said. "Few people can match his innovative approach to business, which includes applied contributions in the areas of marketing, employee stock ownership plans, risk management and strategic planning."

Engler’s successful career makes him the perfect fit for the WTAMU position. The Nebraska native’s business acumen started at an early age when he purchased his first herd of cattle at the age of 12. He used the proceeds from cattle sales to fund his college education, and he graduated in 1948 from the University of Nebraska with a degree in agriculture. By 1960 he was the founder/owner/operator of the Hereford Feedyard and proving that cattle feeding was a viable economic venture for the Texas Panhandle.

In 1972 Engler was named head of the carcass division at Iowa Beef Producers in Dakota City, Neb., overseeing responsibilities at eight different plants. Three years later, Engler had founded Cactus Feeders, Inc. The company is one of the largest cattle-feeding operations in the world with more than 500 employees in 11 different locations across the Texas Panhandle and southwest Kansas. Cactus Feeders is home to the first-ever Employee Stock Ownership Plan in the cattle feeding industry. The plan was created by Engler in 1990 to give employees the opportunity to become owners in the company.

"Paul Engler is a legend in agriculture and the father of the modern cattle feeding industry on the southern Great Plains. His vision was crucial to the development of the regional economy," Dr. Don Topliff, dean of the College of Agriculture, Science and Engineering, said. "For Mr. Engler to agree to share his knowledge and wisdom with our students in both agriculture and business is great for them and validation of the importance of our programs to the region."

WTAMU’s executive in residence is the recipient of numerous awards through the years including the 1995 Man of the Year in Texas Agriculture, 1996 Cattle Businessman of the Year,  a 2009 inductee into the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame and Meat Industry Hall of Fame and Tri-State Fair Man of the Year in 2010. He serves on the board of directors of the WTAMU Foundation, the Harrington Regional Medical Center and the National Cowboy Hall of Fame and is past chairman of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He is founder and chairman of the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation.

"Paul Engler’s leadership, business knowledge and entrepreneurial spirit will serve as an excellent example for students at WTAMU," Dr. J. Patrick O’Brien, University president, said. "His presence will be an asset to our campus, and his innovative approach to business and his dedicated service to the community will inspire all of us."