|Brothers Leo and Theo Fuchs co founded
Ideal Poultry in 1937.
The smiling faces of Jake Pieniazek ’13, Kevin Perry ’13, Jesse Huth ’13 and Matthew March ’14 greet visitors who enter the lobby of Ideal Poultry Breeding Farm Inc. in Cameron, Texas. Although these students have never set foot in the family-owned company, their portraits serve as a constant reminder of the Fuchs family’s long relationship with and commitment to Texas A&M University.
Scholarships created by the family through the Texas A&M Foundation have provided a financial lifeline for these four students. “I’m not fortunate to come from a background where every expense is paid for,” Perry said. “Receiving this scholarship takes a little bit of the worry away, and I don’t have to put myself in worse financial shape just to go to school.”
Since their inception, the scholarships have helped a total of 35 Aggies pay for college. Ideal Poultry also contributed to a scholarship in honor of Ruth and Dr. W. F. Krueger ’43, who served as the head of the poultry science department. This scholarship has assisted 13 students in reaching their educational goals.
“These scholarships are invaluable in being able to retain quality students and assist them financially in being able to matriculate through the curriculum and get their degrees,” said Dr. John Carey, a professor in the poultry science department. “They help to defray the cost of not just the basic parts of their education, but those other parts of it such as internships that add to the value of the students’ experience here so that they can be more valuable employees when they graduate.”
Fuchs Family Builds Texas A&M Legacy
The Fuchs’ relationship with Texas A&M goes back to the earliest days of the company, which was founded in 1937 by brothers Leo and Theo Fuchs. “Very early on in the business, my dad, Leo, was involved in A&M’s Record of Performance program and the Record of Merit program for breeding White Leghorn chickens for performance. He was the leader in Texas,” said Monroe Fuchs ’56. “The faculty would ask my dad to be the speaker on poultry breeding when they had a conference at A&M.”
|Theo and Leo Fuchs examine their purebred White Leghorn breeders, 1940.|
As Monroe Fuchs grew up, the ties strengthened. In high school he attended a summer short course at Texas A&M and became the youngest person to receive certification in Pullorum-Typhoid testing agents. Later he earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in poultry husbandry, with an emphasis on poultry breeding from Texas A&M.
Monroe Fuchs took over the company in 1973 and led the transition to a backyard poultry business by 1980. The company has since flourished in providing chicks for families to raise, becoming the largest hatchery of its type in the United States. Monroe Fuchs retired in the late 1980s, but he still serves as chairman of the board. His children — Gary Fuchs ’78, Teri Fuchs Keratsopoulos ’90 and Janet Fuchs Crouch ’83 — now run the company. Gary Fuchs’ son, Stephen Fuchs ’09, assists with the hatchery and farm operations. The company’s commitment to Texas A&M has continued through the generational change in leadership and includes providing materials and eggs for research.
Molding Poultry Science Leaders
|From left to right: Monroe Fuchs, Janet Fuchs Crough, Teri Fuchs Adcox, Gary Fuchs|
The Fuchs family created the scholarships to help Texas A&M’s poultry science department, which graduates the most students with this degree in the nation, continue to provide quality candidates for the industry. “We love the university and we love the poultry science department,” Crouch said. “We knew the money would be used wisely to strengthen the poultry industry in the state of Texas. Poultry is going to be here and we need people who know what they’re doing.”
By Dorian Martin
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