Lechtenberg Family to Receive Don L. Good Impact Award
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kelly & Marcie Lechtenberg and family, proud supporters of the Kansas State University mission, have been selected to receive the 2020 Don L. Good Impact Award.
The award, presented annually by the Livestock and Meat Industry Council Inc. (LMIC), is named in honor of Good, who is a former head of the K-State Animal Sciences and Industry (ASI) department, and recognizes positive impact on the livestock and meat industry or agriculture. Traditionally, the Impact Award has been presented during the K-State ASI Family & Friends Reunion. Due to COVID-19 this year's reunion has been cancelled and the Lechtenberg family will be recognized during a virtual presentation.
The Lechtenberg family's K-State pride took root in 1983 when Kelly started veterinary school at the K-State College of Veterinary Medicine. Kelly simultaneously completed a DVM and doctorate in ruminant nutrition through the Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. During this time, Marcie taught at Riley County High School while working on a master's degree in Speech Communication from K-State. In 2014, Marcie completed her doctorate in what is now the College of Health and Human Sciences. She is currently serving as the clinic director for the Couple and Family Therapy Program and the K-State Family Center.
A passion for purple runs deep in the Lechtenberg family. Combined, the family, including their three daughters Jana, Brooke and Paige, and their spouses, have accumulated 18 K-State degrees – soon to be 19, when Jana completes her doctorate studies in 2021.
"Kelly's education at KSU was critical to founding successful research-based companies in Kansas and Nebraska that provide services focused on the development and regulatory approval of safe, efficacious products for cattle, swine and poultry," says Patsy Houghton, K-State ASI Family & Friends Reunion chairman from McCook, Nebraska, in her nomination letter to the Don L. Good Impact Award committee.
In 1995, Kelly founded Logan Valley Feeders (LVF), LLC in Northeast Nebraska. LVF is a 5,000-head commercial cattle feeding operation and research test site that houses development work of numerous products for improving health and performance in beef cattle production. The team at LVF works to use the highest standard of research conduct with the realities of beef cattle production in the upper Midwest.
The Lechtenbergs have founded and operate three veterinary and biomedical science-focused facilities in both Kansas and Nebraska – Midwest Veterinary Services Inc., Central States Research Center Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, and Veterinary Biomedical Research Center. These companies expand upon and work in conjunction with one another to aid in animal health and biomedical innovations, perform product evaluations, and provide diagnostic laboratory spaces that are capable of working with university faculty and graduate students involved in veterinary and biomedical research.
Founded in 2017 on the east side of Manhattan, TimberCreek Veterinary Hospital (TCVH) fulfilled the dream of Kelly and Marcie's youngest daughter, Dr. Paige (Lechtenberg) Andersen, to own a clinic and work with her Dad. TCVH offers the highest quality veterinary service to horses and pets and is one of the few AAHA accredited veterinary hospitals in the area.
In all, these companies provide more than 60 full-time jobs, including 12 doctorate-level positions.
"I'm thankful for my veterinary and animal sciences cross-training because it allows us unique opportunities to affect food production and safety all the way through to animal-human interactions, bio-medical science and national bio-security," Kelly explains. "My path has been somewhat unique and would not have been possible without the support that I enjoyed from Dr. Don Good in the Animal Science Department working collaboratively with Dr. Jim Coffman in Vet Med. I was provided opportunities that allowed us to grow our businesses, thanks to the personal attention and steady commitment of these fine gentlemen that always tried to help students work 'outside the box' to fulfill their dreams."
Since 2007, the K-State Adjunct Professorship has allowed Kelly to be involved with graduate student mentorship. Through this program, he has aided with graduate programs in veterinary medicine, animal sciences and agronomy helping explore opportunities to increase productivity, limit losses to disease and reshape the discussion around the effect of greenhouse gases and cattle production.
"The Lechtenberg family is passionate about fostering lifelong relationships through the power of mentorship, education and friendship that makes us all part of the K-State family," Houghton adds.
Due to increasing concerns around the COVID-19 situation and standing by the department's commitment to keeping the safety of participants as its top priority — this year's reunion has been canceled and this year's award program will transition to an online format, Watch the event website, www.asi.k-state.edu/familyandfriends, and the reunion's social media channels for more information about the virtual awards ceremony.