The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, has announced the winners of the 2022 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards, sponsored by Cargill.
The National BQA Awards annually recognize outstanding beef and dairy producers, marketers, and educators. Winners not only demonstrate high-quality animal care and handling principles as part of their day-to-day operations but express a strong desire to continually improve their operations through BQA. As good stewards of the cattle industry, a common trait among nominees is encouraging others to implement the producer education program. Award categories include Cow-Calf, Dairy, Feedyard, Marketer and Educator.
2022 BQA Cow-Calf Award
The 2022 BQA Cow-Calf Award recipient is River Bend Ranch in Limon, Colorado, managed by the Frasier family. River Bend Ranch is a product of several generations of ranching in Colorado and has operated as an extension of Frasier Farms, LLC since 1981. Primarily a commercial cow-calf operation with Red Angus-based females, the ranch also includes a seedstock enterprise called Solid Rock Red Angus (SRRA). River Bend is dedicated to improving consumer confidence through public engagement and shares the importance of BQA on its operation and its foundation in U.S. beef production. With pride in their land management practices and years of implementing a holistic grazing approach, the Frasier family maintains that a strong emphasis on BQA principles truly coincides with effective land stewardship.
2022 BQA – FARM Dairy Award
Langeland Farms Inc. in Coopersville, Michigan, is the winner of the 2022 BQA – FARM Dairy Award. Langeland Farms was started in 1928 with only 120 acres and 33 cows. Today, the operation has grown to 1,100 milk cows, 850 replacement heifers and 800 steers. The team at Langeland Farms attributes the BQA and FARM Animal Care guidelines in being instrumental in their ability to successfully expand their herd over the past 15 years. Their participation in the Dairy FARM program has allowed them to produce safe and high-quality milk while providing excellent animal care and a good working environment for their employees.
2022 BQA Feedyard Award
Five Rivers Cattle Feeding – Kuner Feedlot is the 2022 Feedyard BQA Award recipient. Located in Kersey, Colorado, Kuner has a one-time feeding capacity of 100,000 head and houses Five Rivers’ natural cattle program. BQA serves as the backbone of cattle management at Kuner Feedlot. As one of the country’s largest and most visible cattle feeding operations, Kuner Feedlot understands that it has a responsibility to represent the beef industry’s foundational management program to a broad audience.
2022 BQA Marketer Award
The beef industry would not be able to market cattle without transporters. Therefore, BQA is honored to announce W&J Carpenter Inc., based in Arapahoe, Nebraska, as the 2022 BQA Marketer recipient. This is the first year a transporter has received this honor. W&J Carpenter was founded in 1991 by Ward and Jill Carpenter to fill a need for quality, reliable and responsible transportation of cattle. Today, the Carpenter team transports more than half a million cattle per year. The company prides itself on attention to detail in all aspects, from hiring knowledgeable employees to continued training for animal handling and transportation. Ultimately, W&J Carpenter strives to provide safe transportation to cattle and enhance the public’s perception of animal handling and quality.
2022 BQA Educator Award
Dr. Deb VanOverbeke, assistant dean for academic programs at Oklahoma State University’s Ferguson College of Agriculture, is the 2022 BQA Educator Award recipient. Originating from a small family feedlot and diversified crop operation, Dr. VanOverbeke has always had a passion and dedication to the cattle industry. She has taken an active part in the BQA program for more than 20 years, serving as the first Nebraska BQA state coordinator. Dr. VanOverbeke then acquired two graduate degrees from Colorado State University, where a majority of her research focused on beef quality and live cattle production practices and interventions. Throughout her career, Dr. VanOverbeke has remained dedicated to the BQA mission of ensuring consumers have quality, safe and wholesome beef, and beef products.
Award winners are selected by a committee comprised of BQA certified representatives from universities, state beef councils, sponsors and affiliated groups, who assess nominations based on their demonstrated commitment to BQA practices, their service as leaders in the beef industry and their dedication to promoting the BQA message to grow consumer confidence.
The National BQA Awards are funded in part by The Beef Checkoff program and sponsored by Cargill.
To read more about each of the award winners’ operations, visit https://www.bqa.org/about/bqa-awards.