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Originally published  by Wendy White on NCBA News.

ORLANDO, Fla. (Feb. 2, 2024) – Producers, students and advocates were recognized as the best of the beef industry through a variety of scholarship and award programs during CattleCon24, held Jan. 31-Feb. 2, in Orlando.

2023 Environmental Stewardship Award Program Regional Winners The Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP), which annually recognizes outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle producers, honored regional winners, including:

  • Region I: Tuck Farms, Moneta, Virginia
  • Region II: JB Ranch, Immokalee, Florida
  • Region IV: G Bar C Ranch, Rosston, Texas
  • Region V: Tower Rock Ranch, LLC, Mansfield, Washington
  • Region VI: Hart Ranch, Montague, California
  • Region VII: Bartholomay Kattle Kompany, Sheldon, North Dakota

ESAP is generously sponsored by companies and federal agencies who share the cattle industry’s commitment to caring for the environment and protecting natural resources. Sponsors including U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, Corteva Agriscience, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and National Cattlemen’s Foundation partner with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) to promote environmental stewardship throughout the beef supply chain.

Beef Quality Assurance Awards

The National Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Awards, funded in part by the Beef Checkoff program and sponsored by Cargill, 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 also express a strong desire to continually improve their operations through BQA.

The 2024 honorees include Cow-Calf Award winner VanWinkle Ranch, Colorado; Dairy FARM Award recipient Dotterer Dairy, Pennsylvania; Feedyard Award winner Adams Land & Cattle, Nebraska; Educator Award recipient Dr. John Wenzel, New Mexico; and the Marketer Award presented to Power Genetics, Nebraska.

W.D. Farr Scholarships

Megan Eckhardt of New Braunfels, Texas, and Jaime Luke of Stanberry, Missouri, 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 the NCF in 2007, recognizes outstanding graduate students who plan to pursue careers furthering the beef industry. Eckhardt and Luke were selected from 51 applicants based on their academic achievements, leadership and commitment to the advancement of the beef industry.

CME Group Beef Industry Scholarships

Ten students pursuing careers in the beef industry were awarded $1,500 scholarships by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation. The CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship program recognizes talented and thoughtful students emerging as industry leaders. The 2024 CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship recipients include:

  • Grace Anderson of San Luis Obispo, California, California Polytechnic University
  • Addie Brown of Beeville, Texas, West Texas A&M University
  • Bryce Hoeltzel of Olsburg, Kansas, Allen Community College
  • Harper Kirsch of Platte, South Dakota, Iowa State University
  • Alaina Link of Moberly, Missouri, University of Missouri
  • Delaney Nichols of Marshalltown, Iowa, Iowa State University
  • Collin Ochsner of Kersey, Colorado, Texas Tech University
  • Ava Perrier of Eureka, Kansas, Kansas State University
  • Megan Sanders of Oral, South Dakota, South Dakota State University
  • Weston Schrader of Wells, Kansas, Kansas State University

Masters of Beef Advocacy Program Advocate of the Year

Allison Fender of Santa Ysabel, California, was honored as the Advocate of the Year for the positive example she sets for other beef advocates by sharing her journey in ways that connect with people outside of her immediate beef community. This award, given annually by the NCBA’s Beef Checkoff-funded Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program, recognizes an outstanding beef advocate for success in engaging consumers who want to learn more about beef and raising cattle.


The Trailblazers program, funded by the Beef Checkoff, 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 United States.

The 2023 Trailblazers include Tucker Brown, Texas; Colton Coffee, Montana; Sam Cossio, Washington; Allison Fender, California; Rocky Forseth, Montana; Macey Hurst, Missouri; Joe Lowe, Kentucky; Erin Perkins, New York; Paige Schmidt, Kansas; and Ally Spears, Texas. The 2024 Trailblazers cohort will be announced in mid-February.

For more information, visit