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News Releases

Date: 2/13/2018

Title: Two Ph.D. Candidates Receive Prestigious W.D. Farr Scholarships

Dustin Aherin, Arquimides Reyes to Receive $15,000 Awards from National Cattlemen's Foundation

Phoenix, Ariz. (Feb. 2, 2018) – Two graduate students working on their doctorate degrees in animal agriculture have received W.D. Farr Scholarships for the 2018-19 school year from the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. Each award –increased for the coming school year to $15,000 – recognizes superior achievement in academics and leadership, and will allow the students to further their study in fields that will benefit the cattle and beef industry. The scholarships were presented Feb. 2, 2018 at the Best of Beef Breakfast during the 2018 Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show in Phoenix, Ariz.

The awards were presented to Dustin Aherin, a Ph.D. student in the beef systems management program at Kansas State University, and Arquimides Reyes, a Ph.D. student in animal science at Colorado State University.

Aherin’s agricultural roles started at a young age through involvement in 4-H and FFA. He served as an officer of the American Gelbvieh Junior Association, and was on the Allen Community College five-year Strategic Planning Committee. In 2016 he was accepted into the Kansas Livestock Association’s Young Stockman’s Academy. An active member of the American Gelbvieh Association, Aherin and his brother own a small Gelbvieh/Balancer herd, in cooperation with Eagle Pass Ranch of Highmore, S.D.

With undergraduate degrees from KSU, the goal of Aherin’s Ph.D. is to develop a beef systems model encompassing the industry from cow-calf to cattle feeding, with the capability of conducting “what-if” analysis based on differences in technology, management and government policy.          

Reyes also began his involvement in the cattle industry early, as he grew up on a small dairy and beef farm in El Salvador. After coming to the United States he became involved in FFA, which fueled a desire for an in-depth understanding of how the beef industry operates. He has since earned an undergraduate degree in animal science with a minor in agriculture-economics from Texas A&M University, followed by a master of science degree in animal science from Angelo State University.

A member of the Texas A&M Corp of Cadets, Reyes served four years in leadership positions, at one point overseeing nine staff and more than 2,400 cadets in training and leadership development. He has also worked with producers and consumers as a meat sales representative in Texas.

The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship awards were established by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation in 2007 to recognize outstanding students who plan to pursue careers in meat science and animal agriculture. Thirty outstanding applications from graduate-level students in universities across the country were received this year.

W.D. Farr was the first president of the National Cattlemen’s Foundation, and served as president of the American National Cattlemen’s Association, which would later become NCBA. His career spanned 75 years and included innovations in cattle feeding, uniform beef grading, water conservation and banking. Farr died at age 97 in August 2007.

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Steven Johnson
Associate Director
Policy Communications