Bill Rishel, the owner, operator and founder of Rishel Angus of North Platte, is the newest member of the Nebraska Cattlemen Hall of Fame.
Rishel Angus has a solid reputation for producing good cattle, and for its role in artificial breeding.
Rishel grew up in Pennsylvania, worked in New York state, and moved to Nebraska in 1975.
Chuck Folken, a past Nebraska Cattlemen president, made the presentation on Dec. 7 at the Nebraska Cattlemen's convention.
We are privileged tonight, to honor the role this individual has played in shaping, promoting and preserving our industry.
This is our most prestigious award, it is a way we thank great leaders in our industry for their inspirational service. Tonight we have the opportunity to honor a very influential individual and one of our own.
Starting at a young age, this year’s inductee has had a passion for the cattle industry. Whether it was livestock shows, or judging teams, he was a part of it. Over the years this young man has grown to become quite an influential leader in the beef industry. And it is an honor tonight to announce that the 2012 Nebraska Cattlemen Hall of Fame inductee Bill Rishel.
Bill was raised on a livestock and crop farm in York, Penn. and was very much involved in agriculture from a young age. Whether it was being a member of the Champion 4-H livestock judging team, just milking a sheep, Bill Rishel always showed his passion for agriculture.
Bill graduated from Central High School in Pennsylvania and then began his higher education at Penn State University. While studying at Penn State, Bill worked in the beef cattle barn at the college campus.
Bill was a member of the 1966 Penn State University National Champion Livestock Judging team at the International Livestock Expo in Chicago. Bill also was ranked second-high individual at the competition.
On June 25, 1966, Bill married to Barbara Sheaffer and in 1967, he graduated from Penn State with a bachelor’s degree in animal science and then received his master’s degree in animal breeding in 1969.
After graduation, Bill became the co-manager of Sayre Farms in Phelps, N.Y. alongside his brother, Ed, from 1969-1972. He then moved on to manage Topp Hill Farms in Hillsdale, N.Y. from 1972-1975.
In 1975, Bill and Barb moved to North Platte, where he worked for National Livestock Brokers before starting Rishel Livestock Service Inc., a sales management company in 1977. While managing sales, Bill also developed Rishel Angus.
Rishel Angus genetics have played a dominate role in the artificial breeding companies, American Breeders Service, Accelerated Genetics, and Select Sires. Rishel Angus is the breeder of B/R New Design 036, the #1 sire for registrations in the Angus breeding 2001 and 2002 and the #1 semen sire for ABS Global for two consecutive years.
Not only does Bill spend his time working in the beef industry; he also has devoted many years to representing the industry. From 1991-96 he was a member of the American Angus Association Board of Directors and also the Certified Angus Board of Directors, of which he was chairman from 1995-96.
Bill was a member of the Nebraska Cattlemen Research and Education Foundation Board of Directors form 1996-2007 and then president from 2000-01. He was also a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Board of Directors, of which he was the chairmen of product enhancement for two years.
Bill has also been recognized for his tremendous work and leadership in not only the state but national levels. He received the Certified Angus Beef Seedstock Commitment to Excellence Award, Beef improvement Federation Seedstock Producer of the Year, Honorary Angus Foundation Inductee, Angus Heritage Foundation Inductee, Nebraska Angus Association Producer of the Year, Record Stockman U.S. Livestock Industry Leader of the Year, and Distinguished Alumni-Department of Animal Science at Penn State University.
Bill and his wife Barb are the parents of three daughters, Jill, Joy and Judy. Jill and husband Ron live in Woodlands, Texas. Joy and her husband Tyler live in Ankeny Iowa and Judy and her husband Ryan live in Lincoln. Bill and Barb are also the grandparents of six.
In 2010, the Nebraska beef industry was privileged to have Bill serve as president of the Nebraska Cattlemen. During his time, Bill played a pivotal role in helping Nebraska Cattlemen be the voice of the Nebraska cattle industry as well as promoting Nebraska as the beef epicenter. Those who worked alongside Bill said he was a one of a kind leader who could harness the attention of anyone who was near. It has been said that “when Bill speaks, everyone listens.” He is the true definition of a highly respected leader.
Bill is a charismatic jokester who is always willing to help out whenever and wherever. He is a definite team player who is always quick to give credit to others. Bill is known to always be two steps ahead, which is a main reason why he has become such a dominant figure in the beef industry. Bill is truly an inspiration to all those involved in the beef industry.