BQA Awards

The National BQA Award recognizes outstanding beef and dairy producers, marketers, and educators that best demonstrate animal care and handling principles as part of the day-to-day activities on their respective operations.  A common trait among all contest entrants must be a strong desire to continually improve BQA on their operations while encouraging others to implement the producer education program.

National BQA award winners are selected by a committee of representatives from universities, state beef councils and affiliated groups.  Nominations can be submitted by any organization, group, or individual on behalf of a U.S. beef producer.  Individuals and families may not nominate themselves, however, the nominees are expected to be involved in the preparation of the application. 

Four National BQA Awards (Beef Cow-Calf and Feedyard, Dairy, and Marketer) are funded in part by The Beef Checkoff program with additional financial support provided by Cargill Meat Solutions.  The program promotes beef quality assurance in all segments of the industry, including commercial cow-calf, seedstock, stocker operators, feedlots and dairy operations.

The BQA Educator Award is sponsored in part by The Beef Checkoff program with additional financial support provided by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica. 

2018 Cow Calf Award Bently Ranch, Nevada

Bently Ranch is a 1,500 head cow calf operation in Northern Nevada.  Today, the ranch has begun to sell their meat directly into the local market, marketing and selling grass fed, grass finished beef.  In all aspects of its operation, Bently Ranch strives to do the right thing when it comes to raising high-quality beef. Proper animal care and handling are at the cornerstone of this ranching operation, and appropriate employee training is a crucial part of that. As such, Bently Ranch requires 100 percent BQA certification of its cowboys and managers.

2018 Feedyard Award
BLAC-X Farms, Inc., Minnesota

Located in the rolling hills of Rock County, Minnesota, BLAC-X Farms Inc. is a progressive, privately owned commercial cattle feeding operation with a permitted capacity of over 2,900 head.  The operation finishes approximately 4,500 cattle annually in addition to a 250 head spring calving commercial Angus cow herd. BLAC-X. sets the bar extremely high for environmental stewardship, animal care practices and employee training and safety programs. Since they manage both a feed yard and a cow/calf operation, they have the unique ability to see the work of BQA full circle. They also demand high BQA standards for sourcing cattle to utilize in their feed yard.

2018 Dairy Award
Kraft Family Dairies, LLC, Colorado

Kraft Family Dairies, LLC is a progressive dairy operation in Fort Morgan, Colorado.  The operation consists of 6,500 cows at two separate facilities, Badger Creek Farm and Quail Ridge Dairy, which together produce 500,000 pounds of milk each day. BQA management practices are woven throughout Kraft Family Dairies’ entire production cycle. Consistent with BQA principles, the Krafts are proponents of preventative management, one of their most important prevention strategies is a well-trained work force.  Additionally, Kraft Family Dairies is dedicated to advocating for agriculture and maintains a willingness to adopt new technologies to build consumer confidence.

2018 Marketer Award
Central Livestock, Minnesota

Central Livestock operates three livestock markets in Minnesota: Zumbrota, Albany, Rock Creek and one market in West Fargo, North Dakota. They also continue to conduct business out of their corporate headquarters in South St. Paul. These locations cover a majority of Minnesota’s key livestock production areas. In 2015 and 2016, each location hosted a BQA Certification program and Stockmanship & Stewardship workshop. Central Livestock views themselves as a partner in the beef industry, not just a livestock market.

2018 Educator Award
Ron Gill, PhD, Texas

Dr. Ron Gill’s technical knowledge in livestock production and overall understanding of the beef industry makes him one of the foremost livestock experts in the nation. His expertise and leadership in developing beef safety and quality programs has been the driving force behind many of the positive changes in the beef industry.  Today, Dr. Gill is well known throughout the country as he conducts cattle handling seminars through NCBA’s Stockmanship and Stewardship program, in addition to his responsibilities as a professor at Texas A&M University.