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Tom Burke | 2017

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Lifelong Angus sale manager, author, speaker, Angus enthusiast, youth supporter and former American Angus Association board member.

Born 1943 | Artist: Richard Steward Halstead (born 1947)

Impact & Accomplishments

Tom Burke was raised on a family farm near Blooming Prairie, Minnesota. A charter member of the Minnesota Junior Angus Association, he was the organization’s first president in 1960 and served three consecutive terms. In 1961 Tom and his twin brother Tony were selected by the Minnesota Future Farmers of America as Star Farmers of Minnesota.

In 1963 he was elected president of the 53,000-member 4-H Federation. After completion of his military obligations, Burke joined the staff of the Drovers Journal, and in 1968 he joined the staff of J.B. McCorkle—a national Angus sale management firm, carrying on the business after Mr. McCorkle’s death in 1972.

Tom Burke has been an Angus sale manager for an unprecedented period of 53 years and has managed over 10,000 registered Angus sales in 47 states, seven provinces of Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and Scotland. He has addressed Angus Field Days in over 35 states and seven provinces of Canada. Burke was elected chairman of the All-American Angus Breeders’ Futurity in 1972 and is currently serving his 49th term as Futurity Chairman. He served on the Board of Directors of the International Livestock Show in Chicago, Illinois. In 1983 USA Today recognized Tom Burke as the “Most Traveled Person in America.”

In 1988 he was elected to the National Board of the National Suffolk Association and served as president 1994-1996. Burke was recognized as a Marketeer of the Year in Denver during the National Western Stock Show in 1994. In 2002 he judged the 29th Annual North American International Livestock Open Class Suffolk Show.

Two years later he was inducted into the American Angus Association’s Heritage Foundation. In 2006 he received the American Angus Association’s historic Herd Award and in 2013 was elected to their Board of Directors. He served as a delegate to both the World Angus Secretariat in Mexico (2015) and the World Angus Forum in Edinburg, Scotland (2017).

In 2016 Tom Burke was honored by the Livestock Publication Council with the Lamplighter Award. He has authored twelve books highlighting the Angus breed.

Did You Know?

Burke manages the American Angus Hall of Fame in Smithville, MO.

“The future of rural America and agriculture is bright, but it’s our responsibility to feed a hungry world,” Burke says.  “We have a lot resting on our shoulders to be efficient enough to feed the world.  In 2016, the Angus breed registered 334,000 head of cattle--more than all other beef breeds combined, so we have a lot going for us.”
“My purpose and pleasure has been to see Angus cattle raised on every continent,” Burke says. “One thing I know for sure is that the best Angus cattle and breeders are in North America.”

Courtesy of Drovers Cattle Network

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