Colorado rancher wins world Simmental honor
Colorado rancher Willie Altenburg of Fort Collins was added into the Golden Book of the World Simmental Fleckvieh Federation. Altenburg's accomplishments were recognized during the American Simmental Association annual meeting and reception, held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show here.
The citation states "Willie Altenburg has been a tireless force not only on behalf of Simmental genetics, but for the entire beef industry. He has held numerous leadership posts, including two three-year terms on the ASA Board of Trustees, as ASA's official liaison representative to the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, as president of the highly respected Beef Improvement Federation, and as president and member of the Colorado Simmental Association, which presented him with its highest award, an Honorary Lifetime Membership.
"An innovative and insightful thinker, he has been instrumental in several far-reaching decisions, including ASA's Progress Through Performance shows, the ground-breaking FOCUS 2000 Conference and the CSA's successful People's Choice Power Bull program.
"With his wife, Sharon, Altenburg is the owner/operator of Altenburg Super Baldy Ranch, maintaining a herd of 175 Simmental and Angus females. Over the years, they have hosted more than 15 student interns from nearby Colorado State University.
"A breeder of Simmental for more than four decades, he has maintained a parallel career in the artificial insemination industry, first with American Breeder's Service and more recently as vice-president of beef marketing for Genex Cooperative Resources International."
He is the father of three grown children, Ryan, Jennifer and CJ, who are all involved in agriculture and attended the Denver festivities along with their families.
Altenburg's citation concluded: "His insight and knowledge of the needs of American cattle breeders has contributed mightily to the continued success of Simmental genetics in the U.S."
More than 500 attended the Jan. 20 reception that recognized Altenburg, and fellow recipients Tommy Brown of Clanton, Ala., and Roger Kenner of Leeds, N.D.
Altenburg's award was presented by Susan Russell, a fellow Colorado rancher and ASA trustee from Sugar City. Russell was re-elected to her second three-year term on the national board and re-installed Jan. 19 as a western U.S. trustee.
She noted that Altenburg was the third Coloradoan to receive the Golden Book Award since the honor was created in 1982. Miles Davies of Deer Trail and Dr. Earl Peterson of Littleton, have been past Colorado recipients. "It is an elite and deserving honor," she added, "We're fortunate to have these role models for our performance-based breed. They are true leaders in the beef industry."