CORVALLIS - Bob Thomas of Baker City is one of 28 men and women recently honored as 1998 Diamond Pioneers by the Oregon State University College of Agricultural Sciences.

They will be the newest members of the college's Diamond Pioneer Registry that honors those 75 and older for their contributions to agriculture and natural resources. The registry started in 1983 when the college observed its 75th anniversary.

The founder of the Thomas Angus Ranch in 1947 is being cited particularly for his leadership in the cattle industry. Recognized as one of the top 25 seedstock operations in the nation, the Thomas Angus Ranch is the sixth largest register of Angus cattle. The current operation includes 650 head of registered Angus cows.

The ranch's annual production sale as well as private treaty markets send bulls, females and semen to cattle operations across North America. Thomas is the breeder of four Certified Meat Sires, awarded by the American Angus Association for outstanding carcass traits, and has bred 150 Pathfinder cows and 12 Pathfinder bulls.

Thomas is a past director of the American Angus Association, the Western States Angus Association, and the Oregon Angus Association and a past president of the Baker County Livestock Association. He has been recognized as a premier breeder by the Western National Angus Futurity and as the owner of a historic Angus herd, which recognizes 50 years of continuous service, by the American Angus Association.

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Judy Modrell, 541-737-5822