Outstanding Young Professional Award

This citation honors College of Agriculture and Life Sciences early- or mid-career alumni who have distinguished themselves through significant advancement and achievement in their discipline, field or area of expertise. Selection is made by the Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

This award was established in 2010 and is presented annually during Iowa State University’s Homecoming Weekend. Click here for the nomination form. Nominations are due the third Tuesday in November.

2023 Outstanding Young Professional Awardee

Bradley Joel (BJ) Brugman (’12 agricultural business)
Ames, Iowa

Black and white image of BJ Brugman standing in front of a window with buildings in the background.

BJ Brugman is a native of Royal, Iowa, and a graduate of Iowa State University. After graduating in 2012, he began a successful career in the animal health industry. Joining Elanco Animal Health, Brugman quickly assumed significant responsibilities, managing Elanco’s largest strategic customers in the United States and ultimately spearheading the strategy for the top 200 global customers across various species.

Today, Brugman serves as the founder and CEO of Distynct, a forward-thinking startup focused on enabling precision livestock farming. Distynct’s core mission is to simplify the first steps of the precision livestock farming journey and enable the future of precision livestock farming for livestock producers globally. Leading the way is their flagship product, the Distynct Smart Alarm, an innovative solution that enhances livestock management through real-time remote monitoring, actionable insights, and critical alerts.

Brugman consistently engages with Iowa State with his membership through the Curtiss League. BJ has shared his entrepreneurial story and advice with College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students through Start Something classes and events.

He currently resides in Ames, Iowa, with his wife Kayla (’12 psychology, ’14 MBA business administration), their son Cal, and their ornery dog Pepper. Brugman is a life member of the ISU Alumni Association. He also belongs to the Order of the Knoll Campanile Society and is a Cyclone Club member.

Past Recipients