Our Team


Photo of Dr. Brad White
Dr. Brad White
Work 1320 Research Park Drive Office 231 Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66506 Work Phone: 785-564-7456

Photo of Dr. Robert (Bob) L. Larson
Dr. Robert (Bob) L. Larson
Professor / Edgar E. and M. Elizabeth Coleman Chair of Food Animal Production Medicine – Clinical Sciences
Work 1320 Research Park Drive Office 230 Manhattan Kansas 66502 United States Work Phone: 785-564-7457

Photo of Dr. Ted Schroeder
Dr. Ted Schroeder
Distinguished Professor – Agricultural Economics 1985
Work 1320 Research Park Drive Office 210 Manhattan Kansas 66502 United States Work Phone: 785-564-7458

Photo of David Amrine
David Amrine
Research Director
Work 1320 Research Park Drive, Office 229 Manhattan Kansas 66502 United States Work Phone: 785-564-7467 Cell Phone: 785-410-4433

Photo of Dustin Pendell
Dustin Pendell
Associate Professor of Agricultural Economics
Work 1320 Research Park Drive Office 225 Manhattan Kansas 66502 United States Work Phone: 785-564-7458 Cell Phone: 970-219-7326

Photo of Dr. Bob Weaber
Dr. Bob Weaber
Professor/Cow-calf Extension Specialist
Work 1320 Research Park Drive Office 225 Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66502 Work Phone: 785-532-1460

Photo of Patti Dollarhide
Patti Dollarhide
Project Director : Beef Value Chain Alliances
Work 1320 Research Park Drive, Office 230 Manhattan Kansas 66502 United States Work Phone: 785-564-7461

Arthi Subramanian
Web/Database Developer
Work 4, Trotter Hall Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66506 Work Phone: 785-532-4607

Photo of Kelly Oliver
Kelly Oliver
Project Coordinator
Work 1320 Research Park Drive Office 228 Kansas State University Manhattan KS 66502 Work Phone: 785-564-7459

Photo of Wendy L. Michaels
Wendy L. Michaels
Administrative Assistant
Work 1320 Research Park Drive Manhattan KS 66502 Work Phone: 785-564-7463

Photo of Jiena Gu
Jiena Gu
Project Coordinator
Home 1320 Research Park Drive, Office 231 Manhattan KS 66502

Advisory Team

Photo of Debbie Lyons- Blythe
Debbie Lyons- Blythe

Debbie is a cattle rancher from the Flint Hills of Kansas. She and her husband Duane run 500 head of Angus cattle near the small town of White City. Duane is a banker, so Debbie is in charge of the ranch’s daily activities. They raised five kids on the ranch that was homesteaded in 1890 by Duane’s great great grandfather. In addition, Debbie blogs about their life on the ranch at KidsCowsandGrass.com. She feels it is important to give people the opportunity to learn about how beef is raised.

“I began blogging in 2009 to tell some stories of what happens on a ranch and to answer questions from people who don’t live in rural areas. I think the conversation is changing and growing in the past 5 years. There are many more people involved in agriculture that are willing to answer questions. I also found that my blog posts are about three major topics: Kids, Cows and Grass! Those are my passions.”

Photo of Lee Borck
Lee Borck

Lee Borck is the Chairman of Innovative Livestock Services, Inc. and Chairman of the Beef Marketing Group Cooperative. Lee is a founding shareholder of American State Bank of Great Bend,
Kansas and serves as Chairman. He is the past President of Cattle-Fax and of the Kansas Livestock Association, and has also served as a board member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Board. Lee served as the Chairman of the Kansas 4-H Foundation and is a current board member for the Kansas Bioscience Authority. Lee was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Kansas State University Foundation. He was also Chairman of the Executive Committee and the Investment Committee at Kansas State University. In 1995 he was named an Alumni Fellow in the Kansas State College of Agriculture. Lee holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture Economics from Kansas State. In 2011 Lee was named to Ingram’s “50 Kansans You Should Know” and was elected into the “Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame”. A native of Blue Rapids, Kansas, Lee and his wife Jackie Live in Manhattan, KS.

Favorite Quote

“There is a reason the windshield is bigger than the rear view mirror.”

Photo of Dr. M.Gatz Riddell
Dr. M.Gatz Riddell

Gatz Riddell was raised on a homesteaded farm near Conway, KS. He received his D.V.M. degree from Kansas State University in 1977. Following an internship and residency at Auburn University from 1977 to 1981, he practiced in Tennessee until returning to Auburn University in 1984. He became a Diplomat of the American College of Theriogenologists in 1982 and received his MS from Auburn in 1984. Dr. Riddell represented the American Association of Bovine Practitioners (AABP) on the AVMA Drug Advisory Committee and later served on and chaired AVMA’s Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents. He received the AABP Award of Excellence in 1999. He retired from Auburn University in 2005 as Professor Emeritus and is currently the Executive Vice President of the American Association of Bovine Practitioners. He is a Past President of both the AABP and the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC). He lives in Auburn, Alabama and is married to Kay Pelly Riddell and they have three children, Molly, Wes and Jonathan.

Photo of Tracy Brunner
Tracy Brunner

Tracy Brunner is the 4th generation on his family operation located in Ramona, Kansas. He has served as president of his family corporation since its inception in 1988. Tracy manages the feedyard and the yearling grazing operation. He also oversees the cattle and grain marketing decisions, commodity risk management, customer relations, and financial reports.Tracy’s family also operates a seed stock enterprise raising bulls and replacement heifers for many ranchers throughout the U.S.

Tracy graduated from Kansas State University in 1978 with a degree in Animal Science and a Master of Agribusiness. Through the years he has held many leadership positions in the beef industry including; Kansas Livestock Association (KLA) President, KLA Executive Committee, Kansas Beef Council Executive Committee, KLA PAC Chairman, KLA Advisory Council and Kansas Governor’s Agriculture Advisory Board.

Not only has Tracy been very active at the state level he has been active at the national level as well. He was the Policy Division Chair in 2009. He was on the Executive Committee from 2005 until 2009 and Tracy served on the NCBA Board from 1998-2011.

Tracy believes good cattle industry leadership focuses on working together to help NCBA members achieve their goals of prosperity and maintaining their lifestyle, through profitable and sustainable farm and ranch businesses.

Favorite Quote

“Things are never as good or as bad as they may first appear.”

Photo of Trent Fox
Trent Fox

Raised on a farm in south-central KS. His lifelong interest has been cattle production. Trent received both a Ph.D. in Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology and a D.V. M. from Kansas State University, as well as a M.S. in Ruminant Nutrition from Texas A&M. Trent is a partner and consulting veterinarian with Veterinary Research & Consulting Services, LLC.

Photo of Dr. William S. Swafford
Dr. William S. Swafford

Dr. William S. Swafford received a BS degree in Microbiology and a DVM degree both from Kansas State University. He has extensive experience in a variety of positions in field veterinary services, clinical research, global technical services, corporate management and mixed animal practice. He currently is active as an independent veterinary consultant providing clinical research guidance and field technical support for biological and pharmaceutical product development.

Dr. Swafford is a past President of the Academy of Veterinary Consultants and is currently the AVC Executive Director. He has been a Director on the Western Veterinary Conference Board and is active in AABP and state and local veterinary groups.

Favorite quote:

“Progress is not possible without change”

Current Students

Photo of Dustin Aherin
Dustin Aherin
Cell Phone: 785-302-1252

Title: Ph.D. Student

Hometown: Phillipsburg, KS

Major: Beef Systems Management

My primary interest is in applying systems methodology to the modeling of various segments of the beef production system. The multidisciplinary approach and wide array of expertise offered by the individuals involved with BCI, make BCI an ideal fit. I am currently developing a cow-calf systems model that will be applicable to what-if analysis for different production strategies. Hopefully, modeling of segments further along the beef production chain will follow.

Photo of Jacee Owens
Jacee Owens


Hometown: Minneapolis, Kansas

Major: Kinesiology

Time at BCI: Started in September 2015

Responsibilities: Editing videos

What have you learned from the BCI? The BCI is very important and deals with many aspects of the cattle world.

Photo of Tara Fountain
Tara Fountain
Graduate Student

Hometown: Thompson, MO

Major: DVM class of 2020 + MS in Veterinary Biomedical Sciences

Contact: taraf@vet.ksu.edu

Research focus: My research interest focuses on beef production and management decisions that affect production efficiency and producer profitability. My current project utilizes pregnancy diagnosis data to evaluate factors that potentially effect the future calving distribution.