Born in Winchester, Ky. on September 12, 1904, Henry Carlisle Besuden earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from the University of Kentucky in 1926.
He played center on UK's basketball team during the 1925 to 1926 season. In 1965, Besuden became one of 30 athletes at that time to receive the Centennial Athletic Medallion. About 4,500 athletes who had played for the university were eligible for the award.
Known by sheep breeders throughout the world for his contributions to the industry, he served as president and director of the American Southdown Association, vice president and board member of the International Livestock Show, Chicago, and a member of the Governor's Commission on Agriculture.
Besuden won 12 grand championships in 18 tries at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago from 1950 to 1971. The accomplishment broke a record held by Canada. Besuden won with the Southdown breed and became a renowned breeder.
His portrait was presented to the Saddle and Sirloin Club in Chicago in 1971. The livestock organization nominates one person each year for a portrait, and Besuden was one of only four sheep breeders to have received the honor at that time. He was also the writer of "Sheep Sense" for Sheepman Magazine, 1945 to 1947.
Besuden was also a conservationist. In 1950, he received the Green Pasture Award for outstanding conservation practices, the highest award given by the Kentucky Soil Conservation Service. In 1962, Besuden received the Golden Sheaf Award from UK for outstanding agricultural achievements. He also received the Master Soil Conservation Award for Clark County in 1971.
He was a member of the executive committee and vice president of the Hurst Home Insurance Company, Lexington, and was a member of the UK board of trustees. He was also director of the People's Commercial Bank in Winchester, and past member of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, the Cincinnati Branch.
He was listed in the 1972 edition of "Two Thousand Men of Achievement," published in England. He was commissioned a Kentucky Admiral in 1971 and named a Kentucky Colonel three times. In 1975, he was named to the UK Hall of Distinguished Alumni and received the College of Agriculture Distinguished Award for leadership, loyalty and service that same year.
Mr. Besuden died in 1985.