Skip to the content

Kansas State University

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
  1. K-State Home >
  2. News Services >
  3. December news releases
Print This Article  


Source: Justin Kastner, 785-532-4820,

Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010


MANHATTAN -- Kansas State University's College of Veterinary Medicine, Beef Cattle Institute and Frontier program are commemorating the upcoming 150th anniversary of the state of Kansas with the release of the coffee table-style book "150 Years of Kansas Beef."

The book is dedicated to longtime Kansas rancher Jack Vanier, whose wife, Donna Vanier, made the project possible. The Vaniers own the CK Ranch in Brookville.

"With chapters reaching as far back as the great cattle drives of the 19th century, this historical and photograph-rich book will take readers through the challenges and triumphs of the Kansas beef industry over the last century and a half," said Justin Kastner, director of the book project and co-director of the Frontier program, a historical studies research program offered by the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology.

"Dozens of families contributed ranch histories, photographs and other paraphernalia to the project, some of which are described in an online podcast series available through the Beef Cattle Institute at," he said. "We're grateful to the scores of families who have contributed to the project."

Chris Stephens, former development officer for the College of Veterinary Medicine, worked closely on the project with Kastner and Chris Gruber, the college's current director of development.

"It's difficult to imagine the rich history of the state of Kansas without acknowledging the social and economic impact the beef cattle industry has played in driving the state's progress," Stephens said. "One might say the same for one of Kansas' most prominent citizens, Jack Vanier, who has spent his entire life diligently working for the advancement of the state and Kansas agriculture. Jack's primary focus has always leaned toward beef cattle production -- an economic factor that touches the lives of every Kansan."

The Vaniers, both active philanthropists, have supported many community and K-State projects through the Vanier Family Foundation. The "150 Years of Kansas Beef"book dedication was a surprise Christmas gift to Jack Vanier from his wife.

"I don't have the opportunity to surprise Jack very often," Donna Vanier said. "This is why I want to honor his legacy as a prominent cattleman and astute businessman who has worked tirelessly for the state of Kansas."

The book can be ordered online at It is being printed by Donning Company Publishers and will be delivered in summer 2011.

For more information, contact Kastner at 785-532-4820 or, or Blair Tenhouse at 785-532-2511 or Written requests can be mailed to: 150 Years of Kansas Beef, c/o Blair Tenhouse, Department of Diagnostic Medicine and Pathobiology, 1800 Denison Ave., Kansas State University, 309 Coles Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506.