Paul Matzat, 65, of Westerville, Ohio, passed away Aug. 18 after a 13-month battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Matzat’s younger years were spent on his family farm in North Judson, Ind. He graduated from Purdue University with bachelor and master's degrees in animal science. His career started off with the intent to continue his family farming legacy; however, he took a leap of faith to move his young family to Michigan State University to pursue a Ph.D. in swine nutrition. His time there kickstarted a long, productive career in animal agriculture and the swine industry.
Through his tenure at a variety of companies, he and his family lived in many different places, including one of his favorite places: Colorado. He held a wide range of positions, from running production operations to marketing, technical sales, research and development and more. He served on the board for the U.S. Pork Center of Excellence.
Throughout his career, Matzat was proud to have traveled to 41 countries; he took ideas, practices and products to many of those countries and brought home friendships, stories, trinkets and pictures that he shared with everyone. No matter what country, state or city he was visiting, he would stop into the butcher or grocery store meat counter to see what was popular, how the cuts looked and how fresh they were, and he'd talk to whoever was behind the counter.
Matzat never stopped learning. He was energized by learning more about agriculture from different angles, such as economics and business or newer scientific fields like aquaculture and enzyme engineering. His roles as a colleague and mentor are appreciated by countless peers.
Matzat was diagnosed with ALS in July 2019, and as his body grew weaker, he was always happy and grateful for time to visit with friends, colleagues and family. He approached his battle with ALS the same way he approached everything else, with determination and a thank you for all who helped him along the way.