Don Stickle of Anamosa was honored as the latest inductee into the Jones County Cattlemen Hall of Fame during the annual beef banquet March 16.
Ralph Hosch took the stage to introduce Stickle and explain why he was chosen to be the 2019 inductee.
Stickle and his family moved to Anamosa in 1947, after Stickle had returned from serving in World War II. Early in that time, Stickle bought a bull from his aunt, so she could cover the cost of her property taxes and rented it back to her so she could use the bull for her breeding. Out of that, Stickle’s bull rental business was started.
During the 1950’s, Stickle’s operation grew to more than 1,300 bulls and Stickle has seen more than 81,000 bulls come through his operation.
In 1955, Stickle started buying spoiled or damaged flour from grain elevators. Just under a decade later, after salvaging material from a Quaker Oats fire, Stickle started buying food waste from the company, which they had been paying to have taken to a landfill.
That practice was expanded to more than 60 factories, like Nabisco.
“Cap’n Crunch became cattle and hog feed,” Hosch said.
The arrangement led to a lifelong friendship with the industrial engineer who facilitated the agreement with Quaker, Don Wendel. He recalled that an accountant in the Chicago office once asked him why 1 percent of the contracts for everything they made had Stickle’s name on them.
“It’s been a wonderful relationship,” Wendel said.
Stickle’s entrepreneurial spirit began at a young age. At the age of 8, he bought a box of pencils with money that he had saved and sold them to fellow students and teachers. Horsch also regaled the audience with the story of how at the age of 10, Stickle drove his family’s Model T 15 miles into town, which resulted in a $10 ticket.
Stickle also revolutionized using highway guardrails for fencing materials, using salvaged railway ties.
Stickle himself kept his comments brief, saying that everything had been covered already.
“Everything they said, it’s all true,” Stickle said.
During the banquet, the association also raised money, through a ribeye dinner and live and silent auctions. Scholarships were also handed out to Jones County students totaling $2,000. Scholarship recipients were Payton Lasack of Oxford Junction, Ashley Kurt of Cascade, Rebecca Trumm of Cascade and Austin Timm of Monticello.