Benyshek Named 2017 K-State Animal Sciences & Industry Distinguished Alumnus
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Dr. Larry Benyshek, this year’s Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry Distinguished Alumnus, has had a notable career as a researcher, professor, university department head and entrepreneur. Benyshek was recognized for his accomplishments and presented the 2017 KSU ASI Distinguished Alumnus Award Thursday, Dec. 7 on the K-State campus.
With a vision for the beef cattle industry, Benyshek led a team of scientists that provided research and genetic evaluation for several major breeds of beef cattle in the U.S., Canada and South America. He eventually created Benyshek and Hough Consulting Services where he now serves as president. He has presented research results in several states and countries and is widely known for spreading the “expected progeny difference” (EPD) concept.
Raised on a general livestock farm in Republic County, Kansas, near Agenda. He earned his bachelor’s degree from K-State ASI in 1969, and then went on to Virginia Tech to get his M.S. and Ph.D. in animal breeding.
He began his career by joining the staff at the North American Limousin Foundation and in 1974 moved to a faculty position at Fort Hays State College. In 1976, he accepted a research and teaching appointment at the University of Georgia (UGA). In 1993, Benyshek became the UGA Animal and Dairy Science Department Head.
Because of his contributions to beef improvement, Benyshek received Beef Improvement Federation’s (BIF) Continuing Service Award in 1986 and the Pioneer Award in 2001. The American Society of Animal Science presented him with the Animal Breeding and Genetics award in 1994.
“Larry is a leader in the genetic evaluation of beef cattle,” says Ken Odde, K-State ASI Department Head. “He played a key role in the development of EPDs and in making EPDs a widely used selection tool in the beef industry.”
Benyshek retired in 2002 from UGA and now he and his wife, Isabella, live in Junction City, Kansas. The couple has five children and two grandchildren.
The Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry department serves students, livestock producers and the animal and food industries through teaching, research and education.The K-State ASI department prepares students for careers in the animal and food industries. The curriculum includes the study of nutrition, reproduction, genetics, behavior, meat science, food science with production, management, and agribusiness skills.