WT Magazine The Brand Spotlights Paul Engler, Other Major Ag Legacies


The Brand cover star Paul Engler, center, poses with magazine executive team members Emma Rich, left, and Lindsey Sawin, right, at a launch party for the 2023 issue of the Department of Agricultural Sciences magazine.

CANYON, Texas — Legacy is in the spotlight in the newest issue of The Brand, the annual publication of West Texas A&M University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences.

The issue—which was unveiled during a May 9 brunch—will hit mailboxes of ag donors and alumni this week, said Dr. Tanner Robertson, associate professor of agricultural media and communication.

“The Brand has been completely student-driven for the past 11 years,” Robertson said. “Our students do a remarkable job telling the story of WT Ag alumni, supporters and this area.”

The spring 2023 issue features Paul Engler, the legendary Panhandle-area cattle feeder and philanthropist, on its cover. The story traces his rise from a Nebraska farm to the industry-redefining establishment of Cactus Feeders, which became the largest cattle-feeding operation in the world under his leadership.

In 2017, Engler and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation agreed to donate $1 million a year for at least 80 years to the University for both the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business. It currently stands as the largest gift in WT history.

Both colleges honored Engler with honorary doctorates in agriculture and business administration, respectively, in 2022.

Other stories highlight Logan Paetzold, a senior agricultural business and economics major from Hereford, who started his own engraving business; Spicer Gripp, the late rodeo enthusiast whose memorial foundation provides major funding for WT and its rodeo team; WT’s new companion animal program, established in December following a $2.1 million gift from WT President Emeritus Russell C. Long and wife Natrelle Hedrick Long; and Dr. Charles Townsend, a WT professor emeritus of history, Bob Wills expert and rodeo announcer who died in January.

“When we were deciding on the stories we would include, this theme of legacy just came up,” said Lindsey Sawin, The Brand’s executive editor and a senior agricultural media and communication major from Vernon. “These legacies are being carried on through our students, faculty and staff, and we wanted this issue to highlight them and allow us all to show how grateful we are for their efforts in building WT Ag.”

More than 6,000 copies of the magazine have been printed, and 3,500 will be mailed to subscribers. The remaining copies are given out on recruitment trips, said Dr. Lance Kieth, associate dean of the Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and agricultural education professor.

“We use this to share what we’re doing in our department, so it educates as well as informs,” Kieth said.

In addition to Sawin, the 2023 Brand staff members are art director Emma Rich, a senior from Sudan; advertising sales manager Stephanie Miller, a senior from Loveland, Colorado; assistant publisher Paige Holbrooks, a senior from Gail; and staff writers Blaine Carroll, a senior from Crowell; Quinn Dunham, a senior from Greensboro, North Carolina; Ekatarina “Kat” Fuentes, a senior from Bushland; Anita Knoll, a senior from Hereford; Kendal Powell, a senior from Bennett, Colorado; Caitlyn Smith, a senior from Pottsboro; Journey Sorrell, a senior from Allison; and McKenzie Streigler, a senior from Brady.

All are agricultural media and communication majors.

Dr. Troy Tarpley, assistant professor of agricultural media and communication, also serves as adviser.

Preparing students for the workforce is among the top goals of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $120 million.