Larry Keenan, RAAA Director of Breed Improvement, Recognized as 40 Under 40 award recipient

Posted December 11, 2015

Denton, Texas – Larry Keenan, Red Angus Association of America Director of Breed Improvement, has been recognized as a recipient of Vance Publishing’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Vance Publishing’s 40 Under 40 Awards program seeks to recognize the most innovative people in agriculture under the age of 40 – from animal and crop production, biotechnology and university researchers, to food and nutrition technology, agricultural equipment, agronomy and beyond – who will be instrumental in meeting the challenge of providing food and fiber for a growing global population.

Keenan, who has a bachelor’s degree from Oklahoma State University and master’s degree from Kansas State University, has served the RAAA for the past nine years. “I have always been intrigued in the science behind the overall breeding of animals in the effort to make the next generation better than the current,” said Keenan. “The idea of developing tools and implementing new technology to allow us to do a better job of making a new generation is a rewarding challenge.”

Melvin Leland, a Red Angus breeder from Sidney, Montana, offered words in support of Keenan for the honor.  “His passion and diligence in animal breeding have elevated him to a level of prominence among his peers as a geneticist. He has been an active participant in the Beef Improvement Federation and currently serves as chairman of the Ultrasound Guidelines Council,” said Leland.

According to Clint Berry, Gainesville, Missouri, a Red Angus breeder and marketing consultant, Keenan has unique skills that allow him to reach out to cattlemen and help them better understand the benefits of the technology. “Throughout the years, I’ve worked with numerous cattlemen at all levels, but seldom have I ever had the pleasure of working with a person that demonstrates as much knowledge, passion and expertise, and the ability to communicate highly technical subject matter in a common-sense approach with real-world impacts,” said Berry.

Some of Keenan’s professional contributions include the development of the RAAA Herd Navigator test, as well as implementing many breed-improvement programs involving carcass-progeny testing, implementation of udder scoring, implementation of carcass weight and yield grade EPDs, development and delivery of the HerdBuilder and GridMaster indices as well as numerous research projects and resulting EPD model enhancements.

Many professionals, ranchers and scientists wrote letters of support for Keenan in the nomination process.  A packet of 19 letters of recommendation and validation was submitted in the process.  Keenan was honored at the National Red Angus Convention in Grapevine, Texas, in September for his service to the organization.

The Red Angus Association of America serves the beef industry by enhancing and promoting the competitive advantages of Red Angus and Red Angus-influenced cattle. RAAA provides commercial producers with the most objectively described cattle in the industry by seeking and implementing new technologies based on sound scientific principles that measure traits of economic importance. For more information, visit


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