Nutrition Legend Pens Seventh Book…

John K. Matsushima, Ph.D., releases Dynamic Beef Cattle Industry

Written by Larisa Willrett, BluePrint Media

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In his seventh book, Dynamic Beef Cattle Industry, beef cattle nutrition pioneer and innovator John K. Matsushima, Ph.D., offers a comprehensive history of the beef cattle industry. Dynamic is a term that could also be used to describe the book’s author. At almost 100 years old, Matsushima has not only seen much of the cattle industry’s modern development worldwide, but has helped it evolve and improve over much of that time.

A Colorado native, his passion for cattle was sparked while participating in 4-H and FFA as a youth, perhaps while competing against Kenny Monfort in the show ring. He followed his passion, graduating from Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University), despite discrimination from his Fort Collins community during World War II. Matsushima earned his doctorate in animal nutrition from the University of Minnesota and took a faculty position at the University of Nebraska. It was there he discovered that dosing calves with aureomycin could lessen morbidity from scours without causing liver abscesses. After returning to his alma mater in 1961, Matsushima continued his ground-breaking research into improving feedlot cattle diet and efficiency, revolutionizing the ration when he developed the steam-flaking process.

Making the Energizer Bunny look like a slouch, Matsushima’s tenacity, boundless energy and creative mind led to many successful accomplishments for the U.S. cattle industry, as well as other countries, including Japan, Australia, China and Africa, as they developed their beef production systems.

In addition to his extensive research, Matsushima has taught feeds and feeding, and nutrition courses to more than 10,000 students and advised more than 55 advanced degree students.

Years after officially “retiring,” it’s clear Matsushima is nowhere near stepping back from the industry he loves. To him, this latest book was simply a means to clean out his filing cabinets, but for the beef industry, it could be one of his biggest contributions, yet.

“It appears to be a custom that when some people get past the ‘age of life expectancy’ they will start cleaning house,” he explains. “I was one of those who had collected seven filing cabinets full of printed articles pertaining to beef cattle and other livestock production. In addition, I have several shelves of books and bulletins on beef cattle along with my records pertaining to the consulting activities on beef and food production in many countries around the world.”

“I thought that leaving all of these collections around the house would be of no use except to collect dust. Therefore, it took me over two years to make a file of various topics pertaining to the beef cattle industry. As the chore was completed, I decided to prepare a book on the subject. Hopefully, the materials included in the book will be useful to the beef industry. Perhaps, this will follow the proverbial phrase ‘knowledge to go places.’

“I have seen various changes in different phases of beef production and consumption during my career,” Matsushima says of his 70-plus years contributing to beef production. “These changes have occurred due to many different factors, including size of operations – cow-calf, feedlots, packing and processing – due to the increase in human population. Technology and research have contributed to these expansions.” 

And probably thinking he’d already seen it all, this last year has made for some unprecedented times no one could’ve predicted.

“The experiences in human life can be enjoyable, pleasant, sorrowful, miserable, short or long, unpredictable, etc., but there is one that we cannot control and that is Mother Nature – forest fires by lightning, floods, tornadoes, earthquakes and diseases (i.e., COVID-19). Any one of these can directly or indirectly affect the beef cattle industry.”

Fellow Colorado State University distinguished professor and friend Kirvin Knox, Ph.D., describes Dynamic Beef Cattle Industry this way. “This comprehensive history of the beef cattle industry is a must read for any student majoring in the animal sciences and for those who own, raise or feed beef cattle. The book is informatively illustrated, and Dr. Matsushima has backed up his text with data.”

Matsushima once said, “knowledge never goes out of season.” In his case, sharing that knowledge seems to be ageless.

Get Your Copy!

Dynamic Beef Cattle Industry is now available for purchase. Individuals interested in purchasing the book can do so by completing the attached order form or by contacting Nancy Oliver at or (719) 310-5091.


By Tucker Allmer - The BARN

Tucker Allmer & the BARN are members of the National Association of Farm Broadcasting (NAFB), the Colorado FFA Foundation, the Colorado 4H Foundation, the Colorado Farm Show Marketing Committee, 1867 Club Board Member, Denver Ag & Livestock Club Member, the Weld County Fair Board, the Briggsdale FFA Advisory Council, Briggsdale 4H Club Beef Leader & Founder / Coordinator of the Briggsdale Classic Open Jackpot Show.

%d bloggers like this: