Bilbrey Family Event Center

One Family is Helping the College of Agriculture Dream Big with the Bilbrey Family Event Center

Kansas State University has been a transformational part of J.P. and Teresa Bilbrey's lives. K-State is where they met over 46 years ago, and it prepared them for successful careers and opportunities.

J.P.'s mentors and the connections through K-State introduced him to Procter & Gamble. He worked for 22 years for P&G and then went on to become the Chairman & CEO of the Hershey Company.

J.P. notes that he and Teresa “have been eternally grateful for that foundation and that start because it really set us on a direction in our lives.”

Teresa’s family's connection to agriculture and K-State dates back to over 157 years in Pawnee County. The Woelk family grew corn, soybeans and sorghum, and ran cattle. She recounts that her father and grandfather relied on K-State Research and Extension to help continue their education and grow their operation.

Through their time while J.P. was working with Procter & Gamble, the Bilbreys had the opportunity to live and work internationally. During their time in Egypt, they fell in love with the Egyptian horses. This love got them started back into the horse world, establishing Doubling Gap Ranch in Pennsylvania when they moved back to the United States. On their ranch, they raise and train quarter horses and show purebred Egyptian Arabians. They also run Hereford and Angus cattle.

In addition to their incorporation of equine and livestock into their personal lives, J.P. also sits on the board of Elanco Animal Health, Hill’s Science Diet, and the Colgate Company. All of these companies work in the animal science spaces and have ties to K-State. So, while neither of them graduated from the College of Agriculture, the threads of the industry are woven into their personal and professional lives.

J.P. said, “We learned about this program with animal sciences, the performance arena, and the livestock and equine connection. It was a project that needed help. We were invited to participate, and we said, ‘This is perfect for our family. It really makes a lot of sense.’”

The College of Agriculture and K-State as a whole is grateful for the gift from the Bilbrey family and are excited about the future of the Bilbrey Family Event Center as a keystone of the Animal Sciences and Industry Gateway Campus.

“The center fits right into what we do at our farm. We host clinics, shows, and we also campaign our horses all over the country. It just felt like Kansas needed something similar where people could bring their horses or cattle and show them. Central to our Arabian Horse program is advanced and innovative breeding techniques, which also ties us to veterinary medicine. It fits in really nicely with what we do as a family,” added Teresa.

As the Bilbreys look to the future of K-State, they want to see a great place for individuals to grow, not only in agriculture but across campus. They believe the investment in the future of the Ag Innovation Initiative is important, and that’s why they are investing with other supporters in a space that will help support students, faculty and research.

J.P. shares, “Dream big, put one foot in front of the other, and keep going!”

The Bilbrey’s are doing just that: helping the dreams of many current and past generations come true with their generous support for the new Bilbrey Family Event Center.

To find out more about the new Bilbrey Family Event Center, click here.

Bilbrey Family supports the Ag Innovation Initiative

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