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Block and Bridle Saddle & Sirloin Club Inducts First Members

Posted: July 19, 2017

Dr. Harold Harpster and the late Ms. Vivian Baumer were inducted into the newly organized Saddle & Sirloin Club, recognizing their significant contributions.

The Penn State Block and Bridle Club is proud to announce the initial inductees into the newly formed Block and Bridle Saddle & Sirloin Club. Dr. Harold Harpster and the late Ms. Vivian Baumer were inducted for 2017. The PSU Saddle & Sirloin club has been established to recognize distinguished faculty, staff, alumni, mentors and donors for their significant contributions to support either agricultural students or the agricultural industry and for their support of the PSU Block and Bridle Club. 

Dr. Harpster was a Professor of Animal Nutrition at PSU for 35 years before his retirement and served as an advisor to the B&B Club for 13 years. He taught, mentored, advised and interacted with hundreds of students during his tenure. Harpster was recognized during this year's Little I as the 2017 Animal Science Distinguished Alumnus in the Department of Animal Science.

Ms. Vivian Baumer worked as a Research Associate in the nutrition program for 35 years, and also advised students and served as an advisor to the B&B Club. As a student advisor, she enjoyed working with students to select classes, while helping them to realize their passion and vocation.  She was the "mom" away from home for many students. After retirement, she passionately continued to advise club members and help the club.  

A custom-made saddle was graciously donated to the club by alumnus Roger Allgeier of Brighton Feeds & Saddlery Brighton, CO to be the centerpiece of the Saddle & Sirloin Club. The inductees' names will be engraved on a plate to be placed on the saddle's latigo.

Each year, the saddle will be sold at auction to provide funds for Block & Bridle's Endowment Fund, as well as to recognize the new inductee. The inaugural sale was held on April 7, 2017 during the PSU Stockman's club annual Spring Banquet. After some enthusiastic bidding and very generous individual donations the saddle sold for $10,000.

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "The Block & Bridle Club is an integral asset in the agricultural community at Penn State and we want to ensure the Club's financial sustainability forever."

Dan Kniffen, Assistant Professor of Animal Science and Club Advisor, said, "We are thrilled with the very generous donation of the custom-made saddle, and with the success of the initial auction. It is a great start in supporting the Block and Bridle Club's future endeavors."

The saddle will be proudly displayed in the Penn State Department of Animal Science Agricultural Traditions Room in the Henning Building.

Questions regarding the Saddle & Sirloin Club can be directed to Dr. Dan Kniffen, Club Advisor, at dkniffen@psu.edu.