Ohio beef industry leader, Frank Phelps of Logan County, was inducted into the Ohio State University (OSU) Department of Animal Sciences Hall of Fame, April 20, 2013, at the department’s annual Evening of Excellence Recognition Banquet. Recipients of the Animal Sciences Hall of Fame demonstrate superior skill and achieved success in the field of animal science for themselves and their families. They have also practiced service to others through giving their time, energy and thoughtfulness in the local
“The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association was proud to nominate Frank for induction into the Animal Sciences Hall of Fame,” says Elizabeth Harsh, OCA Executive Director. “Frank is very deserving of this prestigious honor. He is a proud alum of The Ohio State University and a Buckeye through and through who is also a tremendous leader for the beef industry.”
Phelps operates the O’Connor-Phelps Limousin Farm near Indian Lake in Logan County. Their farm includes a 250 head seedstock operation that markets Limousin breeding stock, and feeds the balance of their own calves. In addition to his involvement in the beef industry, Phelps also raises 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans.
As a direct result of Phelps’ hard work and innovation, the O’Connor-Phelps Limousin Farm has been recognized many times over the years. The farm received the Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) Environmental Stewardship award in 1998 for its many ground-breaking conservation efforts. The O’Connor-Phelps Limousin Farm was also recognized as the OCA Seedstock Producer of the Year in 2007. This award is based on the Beef Improvement Federation’s (BIF) guidelines and is awarded to cattle breeders who have excelled in collecting and utilizing performance information to improve the genetics of their farm’s cattle. In 2010Phelps was named the recipient of the OCA Beef Industry Excellence award. The Excellence Award is the most prestigious honor given by OCA.
Phelps was born to Don and Joan Phelps and was raised on a grain and cattle farm with three sisters in Van Wert County.
Phelps was involved in many extracurricular activities while at OSU.He was a member of the Saddle and Sirloin Club and competed as a member of the OSU collegiate livestock judging team. He was high individual at the Timonium, Maryland judging contest.Phelps was also a member of the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.He graduated from The Ohio State University in 1974.
His OSU ties are strong, as his uncle Dale F. Runnion, graduated from the animal science department in 1939.Runnion, a nationally known livestock publisher and sales manager, has been a mentor to Phelps. He has challenged Phelps to strive to constantly improve his cattle operation and leadership skills.
Phelps has also contributed of his time and talents as a leader for the beef industry. He has been actively involved as a member of the Logan County Cattlemen’s Association. He was twice appointed by USDA Secretary of Agriculture to represent Ohio’s beef industry as a member of the Cattlemen’s Beef Board. He served on the Beef Board for six years with responsibility for overseeing national beef checkoff investments. In addition Phelps served for many years on the Ohio Beef Council Operating Committee and was also chairman of the beef council. Currently Phelps is the Vice President of the OCA, a membership organization representing the interests of the state’s beef producers.
Maintaining their farming operation in an environmentally sustainable manner is a high priority for the O’Connor-Phelps Limousin Farm. For 25 years Phelps has served as a supervisor for the Logan County Soil and Water Conservation District. He has also chaired the Indian Lake Watershed project since 1990, one of the state’s most innovative conservation projects.
Phelps, and his wife, Gail, have two grown children, a daughter Mandy and a son Andy, who is also involved in the farming operation.