Denton, Texas – Honoring individuals for the loyalty, service and commitment to excellence in 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 2016 installment of the event, “Where the Red Angus Roam,” held in Oklahoma City at the downtown Cox Convention Center was no exception. Following a tremendous dinner featuring Meyer Natural Angus steaks, the awards program recognized some of the top ranches, businesses and industry supporters who do an exceptional job of promoting the Red Angus breed.
2016 Commercial Producer of the Year Award was presented to Mark and Jaime Burchfield, Cody, Nebraska. Ryan Ludvigson made the presentation. The award recognizes commercial producers who have successfully used Red Angus genetics in their operation. Qualifying recipients have a history of using Red Angus commercial marketing tools, which add value to their calf crop. As one of the most reputable commercial Red Angus operations in the country, the Burchfields’ cattle are some of the most sought-after feeder cattle calves and replacement females in the country, regularly topping the market in the Superior Livestock Auction, Inc. video sales.
Mobridge Livestock, Mobridge, South Dakota, was presented the 2016 Industry Service Award. Clint Berry, Gainesville, Missouri, made the award presentation. The Industry Service Award recognizes an individual, company or association from the beef industry or academic community who has helped the Red Angus Association of America achieve excellence during the past year or more. Mobridge Livestock, owned by Jason Anderberg, Tigh Anderberg and Casey Perman, have been regular promoters of the breed and annually have one of the largest, most-recognized Red Angus and FCCP-tag feeder calf sales in the country.
Advocate of the Year Award was presented to Lois Bieber, Leola, South Dakota, by outgoing RAAA President Kim Ford of Cozad, Nebraska. The award, given annually, recognizes a special Red Angus member or commercial producer who passionately expresses support of the Red Angus breed to seedstock producers, commercial producers, industry partners or consumers. Ford illustrated Bieber’s dedication to the breed, as well as her sense of humor, by showing a video of a prank pulled by her children and grandchildren which resulted in a Red Angus calf being placed in her and husband Ron’s bedroom while they slept. Ford went on to pay tribute to the matriarch of Bieber Red Angus, explaining that Lois’ faith and prayerful dedication was a steadfast blessing to many in the breed.
The 2016 John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award was presented by JoAnn James, Searsboro, Iowa, to past RAAA President Steve Andras. Manchester, Illinois. The award recognizes Red Angus members or individuals of RAAA who have contributed to the betterment of services offered by the Association. Although the family had been in the cattle business since 1989, their entry into the Red Angus breed began in 1985 with the purchase of a single heifer destined to be a project for son Will. From that purchase, the herd has grown and developed, and the family has earned top honors at many of the stock shows around the country in addition to hosting a production sale each spring.
Frank Wedel, Leoti, Kansas, is the 2016 Melvin Leland Innovative Leadership Award recipient. This award recognizes Red Angus members or individuals of RAAA who have had a positive impact on the Association through serving in a leadership role. Qualifying candidates should have served on an RAAA committee(s) for at least five years, and preferably received the John V. Robbins Distinguished Service award. Wedel was the recipient of the Robbins Award in 2015. In addition to being a tireless advocate for the Red Angus breed, Wedel has also given countless hours to the betterment of the Association, serving on the Board and as national president and then leading the RAAA Strategic Planning Committee. The award was presented by Tom Woodward.
RAAA Board member, Kyley DeVoe, presented the Outstanding Junior Award to Kacey Koester, Steele, North Dakota. Koester is currently serving as president of the Junior Red Angus Association of America. The award recognizes an outstanding junior member who has contributed his or her services to the betterment of the association throughout the past year.
Pelton Red Angus, Lynn and Sue Pelton, Burdett, Kansas, were honored as the Pioneer Breeder of the Year. Fellow Kansan, herd cooperator and personal friend to the couple, Ed Durst of Morrowville, Kansas, presented the award. The award honors long-time members of RAAA who over the years have maintained the quality and excellence of their herds through diligent breeding practices, always keeping Red Angus cattle at the forefront of their breeding programs. Durst noted that Lynn and Sue had provided mentorship to many in the business including himself. Although the couple is retiring from the day-to-day work of the seedstock livestock industry, they will still be an active part of their family operation.
Craig Bieber presented the highlight of the evening, the Breeder of the Year Award, to Pieper Red Angus, Hay Springs, Nebraska. This award is given to members who have contributed to and maintained an excellent standard of quality in breeding Red Angus cattle in their herds. Recipients are preferred to have had a notable recent success in their operation. The Pieper family has had Red Angus cattle for nearly 40 years and conducted their 26th production sale this past spring, merchandizing nearly 500 head of Red Angus bulls and females through the annual event. Pieper Red Angus consists of 600 registered Red Angus cows and 30 brood mares, and their ranching heritage runs five generations deep in Nebraska and Wyoming.
The Red Angus Association of America serves the beef industry by enhancing and promoting the competitive advantages of Red Angus and Red Angus-influenced cattle. RAAA provides commercial producers with the most objectively described cattle in the industry by seeking and implementing new innovative technologies based on sound scientific principles that measure traits of economic importance. For more information, visit redangus.org.