Brother James A. Rudolph, Alpha Omega (Murray State), received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Murray State University Alumni Association. The Alumni Association presents the Distinguished Alumni Award annually to Murray State alumnus who have made meaningful contributions to their professions on a local, state, and national level. It is the highest honor alumnus can earn from the Murray State University Alumni Association and recognizes those who have excelled both professionally and personally.
James received a bachelor's degree in agriculture in 1966 and a master’s degree in Secondary Education in 1969. His tenure at Murray State as an instructor in the Agriculture Department started in 1973 where he oversaw the University’s newly formed equine program and started the beloved Racer One tradition. After four years, James enrolled at Oklahoma State University to pursue his doctoral studies. In 1979, after earning his doctorate, Rudolph returned to Murray State University as coordinator of the nationally acclaimed equine program. Prior to his retirement as a Professor Emeritus of Agriculture in 2004, he served as the University’s first director of the School of Agriculture.
In 2021, Murray State University renamed its Equine Instructional Facility the Rudolph Equine Education Center in recognition of his many contributions to Murray State University. At the naming ceremony event held on October 21, 2021, Alpha Omega Chapter collegiate members joined Brother Terry McKinney, Murray State University Hutson School of Agriculture Dean, to present Rudolph with a framed, numbered, and signed print of the chapter’s original house and praised him for his former work as member and as Chapter Adviser.
The National Milk Producers Federation’s Board of Directors unanimously elected Brother Gregg Doud, Alpha Zeta (Kansas State), as their next president and CEO. The National Milk Producers Federation was established in 1916 and, according to their website, develops and carries out policies that advance dairy producers and the cooperatives they own. Gregg begins tenure at the National Milk Producers Federation in September 2023 as chief operating officer. He will assume the role of president and CEO in early 2024.
"Dairy farmers across the nation are pleased to endorse a true champion of agriculture, someone who both understands the hard work we do and the opportunities and challenges we face both here and abroad. We strongly believe that Gregg Doud more than amply provides the expertise, the background, and the passion we will need as we navigate a challenging, but promising, new era."
— Randy Mooney, National Board Chairman, National Milk Producers Federation
Gregg was born and raised on a 1,000-acre farm near Mankato, Kansas. He earned a bachelor’s degree in animal science and a master’s in agricultural economics from Kansas State University before he began a more than 30-year career in agricultural policy and economics.
From 2018 to 2021 he served as Chief Agricultural Negotiator for the U.S. Office of the Trade Representative, appointed by President Donald Trump, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. According to this release, he led numerous successful efforts for U.S. agricultural exports, including Phase One, a historic trade deal with the United and China, and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement negotiations.
Virginia Tech honored National Officer Jay Poole, Beta Eta (Virginia Tech), with the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in recognition of his outstanding service to the university, community, and communications industry.
Brother Jay has 30 years of experience in government relations, communications, and strategic planning. The first five years of his career were with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, then as a legislative assistant to United States Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. He spent most of his professional career with Altria. During that time, he achieved his greatest professional accomplishment, planning and executing communications strategies for the renaming and rebranding of Philip Morris Companies, Inc. to Altria.
His extensive experience was instrumental in the aftermath of the Virginia Tech shootings. He returned to his alma mater in April 2007 to offer support and was quickly named to a senior leadership position in the university's long-term response to the tragedy. To this day, he continues to provide counsel to Virginia Tech.
Jay serves the National Fraternity as a member of The Educational Foundation Board of Directors and is a former Beta Eta Chapter Alumni Director.
The new regional credit officer of the largest livestock marketing cooperative in the Midwest is Brother Justin Ruggles, Tau Chapter (Michigan State University).
In this position with United Producers, Inc., Justin will work directly with farmers and ranchers in the eastern region of Michigan and the surrounding areas, providing support for real estate, livestock, and crop loans as well farm financing. “We are excited to welcome Justin to our team,” said UPI executive Bob Siegel. “Because of his experience in agriculture and his keen understanding of the needs of today’s producers, we know he will be a great asset to UPI members and farmers looking for financing options.”
Justin has a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness management from Michigan State University and is on the Michigan Cattleman’s Association Board of Director.
Brother Jim Morgan, Alpha Zeta (Kansas State), received the Distinguished Service Award from the Agricultural Business Council of Kansas City.
Jim enters his 42nd year as an agricultural educator in Louisburg, Kansas, this fall. He started teaching at Louisburg High School in 1982, shortly after graduating from Kansas State University with a master’s degree in agriculture education. The school’s FFA teams have flourished under his leadership, winning nearly one hundred championships and runner-up titles in state FFA competitions and two National FFA Career Development Event Champions.