Harold E. Pate
Harold Pate is considered an icon and an exemplary leader in the Alabama cattle industry. A Lowndes County cattle rancher, business man and civic leader, he is a charter life member of the Auburn University Agricultural Alumni Association.
Pate has been an active participant in Alabama agriculture since 1951 when he first served as a member of the AU Livestock Judging Team before receiving a bachelor’s degree in Animal Science and Nutrition from Alabama Polytechnic Institute in 1954. He purchased his first Charolais in 1968, establishing himself and Pate Charolais Ranch as one of the early breeders in Alabama.
A passionate believer in the use of performance recordkeeping, Pate measured and analyzed all performance data available to select the best genetics for producing top-quality seedstock. Pate is said to have done more over a longer period of time to promote and advance Charolais cattle in Alabama than any other individual.
Pate assisted with youth livestock programs, hosted field days and volunteered with judging teams. He served as a leader in several state and national breed associations, was a charter member of the National Cattlemen’s Association and helped establish the Alabama Junior Cattlemen’s Association. He was recognized in 1977 as Cattleman of the Year by Alabama Cattleman magazine, and in 2006, Pate received the Richard Deese Award from the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association.
Among the many other honors Pate has accumulated through the years are: Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association Seedstock Producer of the Year in 1986; Alabama Livestock Hall of Fame inductee in 1987; 1997 American International Charolais Association’s Producer of the Year; and, in 2010, Pate was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Alabama Charolais Association.
Pate and wife, Joan Holland, have five children: Hal Pate, Rick Pate, Vivian Garrett, Martha Wirgau and Gail Jackson; and 27 grandchildren.