William C. “Bill” and Sharon Cutting Endowment

Awarded to a student pursuing a degree in Animal Husbandry

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William C. “Bill” Cutting --“Mr. Golden Horse” 

CuttingSharon and Bill Cutting, November 11, 1988


Bill was born in Kansas in 1929 – coming to Fresno at the age of 12.  He attended Roosevelt Junior High for one year and then moved to Sacramento where he was honored as the youngest Eagle Scout in California up to that time.  Then Governor and later Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, attended the ceremony.

Returning to Fresno, Bill attended Fresno High School -- lettering in track, basketball, and tennis, while also serving as Senior Class President – graduating in 1947.

Bill graduated from Fresno State College in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture – emphasis in Animal Science. Listed in the Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities, Bill was a member of Delta Sigma Phi fraternity and active as a student leader on campus. He also served two years in the US Marine Reserves prior to the Korean War.

Beginning in 1951 Bill helped develop the family’s Cutting Veterinary Supply to become the fifth largest animal health business in the USA.  Their nine stores from the Imperial Valley to Sacramento were sold to Harvest Industries in 1971 when he was employed to guide a two-year transition.  He retained the western wear portion of the business, creating the landmark “Golden Horse” store on Blackstone Avenue in Fresno.  He also purchased the old (1870) Visalia Stock Saddle Company still in operation on the Internet producing custom bits, saddles, and leather goods.

An avid supporter of youth programs, Bill served as Cub Master, Scout Master, and member of the Sequoia Council.  He co-founded the ‘Friends of the Fresno Fair Kids', raising thousands of dollars for 4-H and FFA members while on the advisory committee and as ring man for the Junior Livestock Auction.  The Big Fresno Fair board honored him with a service award in 1991 for that program. He chaired the advisory committee for the Duncan High School Farm program in Fresno Unified School District. The California FFA also honored him with their highest award. 

Faithful to his alma mater, Bill served thirty years on the Agricultural Foundation Board at Fresno State. He received the Block and Bridle Club’s first alumni award for his contributions to Animal Science related programs. He earned recognition in 1990 for service to Fresno State while elected to the Ag One Board of Directors and a 1998 College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology Lifetime Service award. In the early 1960s he was a member of the Fresno State College Alumni Board.

Renown for service to the agricultural industry, Bill was President of the 1958-60 California Fryer Festival in Modesto, a Director of the Far West Turkey Association, an advisory committee member for Ag Fresno and the Fresno Horse Trials, a charter member of the American Belgian Blue Beef Breed Association and the American Hanoverian Association, plus a member of the Clovis Rodeo Association, the California Cattlemen’s Association, and the American Quarter Horse Association.

In 1971 Bill was co-founder and President of the West Coast Western Wear Dealers, which later became a national organization where he was on the Board of Directors.

Bills’ community service included the Fresno Zoo Society Board of Directors and the Elks Club where he applied his horse show expertise for successful fundraising events.  He was a member of the Episcopal Church of Fresno and the Christian Church of Vermillion, Kansas.

Bill’s word was his bond and his handshake was better than a signed contract.  He believed that if your word was not good, neither was your check. He heard the ‘rattle of the chains and the clank of the armor’ – always looking for a new challenge while raising polled Herefords, Belgian Blue cattle, quarter horses, and Hanoverian horses. Through 2016 he was the farmer of record on his grandfather’s homestead grain farm in NE Kansas.  He loved to hunt, fish, and backpack in the mountains.

Bill’s wife, Sharon; his parents, George and Gloria Cutting; and his sister, Carolee, preceded Bill in death. He is survived by his daughter, Pam, of Fresno; William of Salem, Oregon; Michael (wife Sarita) of Brazil; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.