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National Cattlemen’s Beef Assocation recognizes excellence during annual convention

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

During the annual National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) Cattle Industry Convention and Trade Show, held in New Orleans on Feb. 1-3, several producers, advocates, students and organizations representing the beef industry were recognized through a variety of scholarship and award programs. 

Over the course of the three days, 35 individuals and organizations received honors through the Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP), Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Program, W.D. Farr Scholarship Program, CME Group Scholarship Program, Masters of Beef Advocacy Program and the Trailblazers Program.

ESAP awards

Each year, ESAP recognizes producers and operations who participate in outstanding stewardship and conservation practices. 

ESAP awards are sponsored by companies and federal agencies who share the cattle industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. 

According to a Feb. 3 NCBA press release, award sponsors include the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corteva Agriscience, McDonald’s and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Seven regional winners were honored at the convention and will have the opportunity to compete for the national award, which will be presented during the NCBA’s Legislative Conference in Washington, D.C. April 24-27. 

These winners include Lamb Farms, Inc. of Oakfield, N.Y. from Region One, Carter Cattle Company, LLC of Pintlala, Ala. from Region Two, Huth Polled Herefords and S&H Livestock Enterprises, LLC of Oakfield, Wis. from Region Three and Parks Ranch of Goliad County, Texas from Region Four. 

The Region Five awardee was Mannix Brothers Ranch of Helmville, Mont., Region Six awardee was Fulstone Ranches of Smith, Nev., and Jorgensen Land and Cattle Partnership of Ideal, S.D. received the award for Region Seven. 

“Farming and ranching families across the country continue to incorporate practices to protect and preserve land and water resources for future generations,” said NCBA President Don Schiefelbein in the press release. “These regional winners represent the cattle industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship.”

BQA awards

Five operations from the West were honored through the BQA program.

NCBA explains BQA awards, funded in part by Beef Checkoff and sponsored by Cargill, recognize beef and dairy producers, marketers and educators each year who demonstrate high-quality animal care and handling principles while also making an effort to continually improve their operations through BQA.

Nebraska-based operations Wilson Flying Diamond Ranch, Temme Agribusiness and Darr Feedlot received the Cow/Calf Award, Dairy FARM Award and Feedyard Award, respectively. 

Dr. Tom Noffsinger, also of Nebraska, was the Educator Award recipient. 

Additionally, Fresno Livestock Commission of California was presented the Marketer Award. 

Masters of
Beef Advocacy awards

NCBA presented the 2022 Advocate of the Year Award to Tucker Brown of Throckmorton, Texas, for his creative use of storytelling on social media and for continuing his family’s legacy as a sixth generation cattle rancher. 

According to a Feb. 1 “Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner” article, this award is given annually by NCBA’s Beef Checkoff-funded Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) Program, to recognize an outstanding beef advocate. 

“As a modern-day influencer, Brown has a knack for creating intriguing and approachable social media content to bridge the gap between consumers and producers, reaching millions of viewers,” reads the article. “With more than 176,000 followers on TikTok and 52,000 followers on Instagram, Brown receives, on average, a combined five to six million views per month on his videos and uses his influence to show what it’s like to raise beef.”

The article also explains Brown is active on his family’s operation, R.A. Brown Ranch, serves on the Leadership Development Committee for Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raiser’s Association and is dedicated to improving youth involvement in the industry.

Scholarship awards

On top of industry awards presented at the convention, 12 students across the nation received scholarship awards.

Colorado State University graduate students Ashley Schilling of Timnath, Colo. and Lane Giess of Pierz, Minn. were each awarded a $15,000 W.D. Farr Scholarship by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF). 

“The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship program, established by NCF in 2007, recognizes outstanding graduate students who plan to pursue careers furthering the beef industry,” NCBA notes in a press release. “Schilling and Giess were selected from 21 applicants based on their academic achievements, leadership and commitment to the advancement of the beef industry.”

Additionally, NCF awarded 10 students pursuing careers in the beef industry a $1,500 scholarship each through the CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship Program, which recognizes talented and thoughtful students emerging as industry leaders. 

The 2023 CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship recipients include University of Wyoming’s Leah Allen of Steamboat Springs, Colo.; New Mexico State University’s Lauren Butler of Mancos, Colo.; Allen County Community College’s Bryce Hoeltzel of Olsburg, Kan.; Texas A&M University’s Kriby McNeill of Pleasanton, Texas and South Dakota State University’s Lily Mitchell of Boscobel, Wis.

Other CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship recipients were Iowa State University’s Macy Moore of What Cheer, Iowa; Texas Tech University’s Ashlyn Ochsner of Kersey, Colo.; Montana State University’s Colter Petre of Helena, Mont. and Kansas State University students Weston Schrader of Wells, Kan. and Paige Wood of Fullerton, Neb.

Trailblazer awards

Lastly, NCBA recognized industry advocates involved in the Beef Checkoff funded Trailblazers Program, which was established in 2021 to identify, train, equip and empower the next generation of advocates in the beef community. 

“Over the course of a year-long program, 10 elite advocates develop the necessary tools to facilitate quality conversations and help safeguard the work of producers, ranchers and cattle farmers across the U.S.,” notes the NCBA press release.

The 2022 Trailblazers include Kacy Atkinson of Wyoming, Brianna Buseman, Natalie Jones and Jaclyn Wilson of Nebraska, Markie Hageman-Jones and Sebastian Mejia Turcios of California, Marya Haverkamp of Kansas, Shaye Koester of North Dakota, Haley Ammann-Ekstrom of Minnesota and Jonathan Black of West Virginia.

Hannah Bugas is the managing editor for the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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