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Four to be Inducted into Wisconsin Meat Hall of Fame
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 03/21/2018

Elton Aberle, Robert Drane and the late-William and Otto Brakebush will be inducted into the Wisconsin Meat Industry Hall of Fame this spring in Madison. The program aims to honor individuals for their lifetime contributions to the meat production industry.

Aberle supported meat science and agricultural education throughout his career in academia. He started out at Purdue University's animal sciences department, where he co-authored the definitive textbook on introductory meat science, 'Principles of Meat Science.' He then became chair of the animal sciences department at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where he oversaw the completion of a new building for the department. In 1998, Aberle was selected to serve as the 11th dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison's College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, where he forged valuable relationships that helped lay the foundation for investments in academic programs in CALS, including meat science personnel and facility infrastructure. He retired in 2005.

Drane has proven to be a gifted leader. After graduating from UW­-Madison in 1965, he joined Quaker Oats in Chicago, where he held positions in food marketing research and product management. In 1979, he was recruited to join Oscar Mayer in Madison, where he worked his way up to Vice President of Strategy and New Business Development, leading the company's efforts to invent breakthrough new products. He has given back to his alma mater, serving as an adjunct professor at the Wisconsin School of Business at UW-Madison, where he helped found the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research.

The Brakebushs grew a small family business into one of the leading poultry suppliers in the nation. They started with the purchase of a Chevy truck in 1925, which they used to transport local livestock and poultry to larger markets, and later expanded the business to include the dressing and freezing of poultry. When market forces necessitated a change in their business model in the 1960s, the Brakebushes responded by developing and selling cooked chicken products. The legacy of Bill and Otto, who passed away in 1982 and 1967, respectively, can still be felt four generations later. The company has three processing plants and over 1,900 employees located in Wisconsin, Texas and Minnesota.

This year's nominees will be inducted during the annual meeting of the Wisconsin Livestock and Meat Council on May 3 at the Sheraton Madison Hotel.

The Hall of Fame program, which was created in 1993, is coordinated by and housed in the University of Wisconsin-Madison Meat Science and Muscle Biology Laboratory.

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