Cattle Industry Leaders Honored for Contributions to Red Angus Breed

Posted October 13, 2021

Cattle Industry Leaders Honored for Contributions to Red Angus Breed

By Megan Underwood, Red Angus Association of America media intern

DENVER – Honoring producers for their service, loyalty and dedication to the Red Angus breed has long been the tradition of the annual awards banquet held on the final evening of the National Red Angus Convention. The 68th installation of this prestigious event took place at the Riverside Hotel in Boise, Idaho, on Sept. 17, and delivered upon the promise to recognize remarkable producers for excellence in their field. The awards banquet and meal, featuring steaks from Meyer Natural Angus, highlighted businesses, industry supporters and ranches that rise to the top of the breed.

The John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award is presented to Red Angus members who have contributed time and talents to enhance the services provided by the Red Angus Association of America. This year’s recipient, Leonard Wood, Sand Point, Idaho, may be soft-spoken, but is always thinking of ways to improve the Red Angus breed. He has served on the RAAA board of directors, where he was instrumental in placing the marketing team into the Northwest and improving the marketability of feeder calves in the region. He is a true selfless leader as shown by being the first proponent to push the improvement of the Southeast region.

The Industry Service Award is reserved for an industry stakeholder or member of the academic community who has helped RAAA achieve excellence in the beef industry. This year’s recipient, Dr. Tom Field, director of the Engler Agribusiness Entrepreneurship Program at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, has been instrumental in guiding the 2021-2025 RAAA Strategic Plan. He is willing to tackle any challenge and will always find a positive solution.  He continues to mentor stakeholders in numerous ways and is one of the best minds in the beef business.

The Advocate of the Year Award is presented to a special Red Angus member or commercial producer who exemplifies passion for the Red Angus breed to producers, industry stakeholders and consumers. This year’s recipient, Trent Stewart, owner of Central Oregon Livestock Auction and a Superior Livestock representative, has been a passionate representative of both the Red Angus breed and the beef industry. Stewart is well known for starting the first Red Angus feeder calf sale in Oregon and sitting behind a microphone on an auction block selling Red Angus bulls across the country. Trent spreads the message of Red Angus loud and clear.

Shaye Koester, Steele, North Dakota, was awarded the Outstanding Junior Award. Shaye, a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, was an active JRA member on both the state and national stage – using every opportunity that the JRA and RAAA offer. She currently serves as a co-adviser for the North Dakota Junior Red Angus Association. She is blazing her own trail to be the best advocate for the beef industry, and shares her passion through her podcast, Casual Cattle Conversations, which has made significant impacts on the beef industry.



The Red Angus Association of America serves the beef industry by enhancing and promoting the measurable advantages of Red Angus and Red Angus-influenced cattle. The RAAA provides commercial producers with objectively described cattle by implementing new technologies and utilizing scientifically sound principles that quantify traits of economic importance to beef producers in all segments of the beef industry. For more information, visit



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Leonard Wood, (left), Sand Point, Idaho, received the John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award at the National Red Angus Convention. He is joined by his wife, Naomi, and presenter Bruce Ketchum.

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Dr. Tom Field, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, received the 2021 Red Angus Industry Service Award for his role in guiding the association in developing their Strategic Plan.


Trent Stewart, (left), owner of Central Oregon Livestock Auction and a Superior Livestock representative, was honored with the 2021 Red Angus Advocate of the Year Award. Sam Lorenzen presented the award.


The 2021 Outstanding Junior was Shaye Koester of Steele, North Dakota, for her dedication to state and national Junior Red Angus organizations and her continued role in the beef industry.