A fence for cows on the American farm. Author: kavaram

NAtional Beef Quality Assurance 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.

How are winners selected?

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.

2020 Beef Quality Assurance Award Winners

Cow Calf Award

IX Ranch, Montana

The IX Ranch covers over 126,000 acres and is located south-east of Big Sandy, MT in the mixed grass prairie of north central Montana and extends through the southern edge of the Bear Paw mountain range and east towards the Missouri River. The 4,300 head operation is run by the Roth family, just the second owners in the ranch’s 128-year history. 

Feedyard Award


Bledsoe Cattle Company is a multi-generational, backgrounding and feeding operation based in Colorado.  Although the Bledsoe’s don’t own any mother cows, their operation touches every segment of the beef industry, culminating in their 8,000 head capacity feedyard in Wray, CO. The core of the operation begins with a strong history of relationships with their 35 cow-calf producer-suppliers throughout the western states of Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.

Dairy Award


Boadwine Farms, owned by Lynn and Trish Boadwine, is home to over 2,000 dairy cows in Baltic, SD. The herd of Holstein cows is milked 3 times per day in a double 30 parallel parlor and are house in sand-bedded freestalls inside power ventilated barns with sprinkler systems. With a staff of about 40 employees, the Boadwine family strives to produce quality milk and meat from healthy, comfortable cows.

Marketer Award


Western Video Market, Inc. was founded in 1989 by veteran livestock marketers Ellington Peek and John Rodgers to help customers sell cattle in an auction format to a national marketplace via satellite, and now the internet. The company as grown to the second-largest video sale company in the United States and in 2016 marketed more than 290,000 head of cattle for approximately 850 consignors.  The company works with 21 affiliate auction yard companies and more than 60 individual field representatives to consign cattle from the 16 western states. 

Educator Award


Curt Pate is a pioneer in the world of stockmanship and cattle handling, and has shared his knowledge and dairy producers, animal husbandry experts, feedlot operations, students, 4-H and FFA members, horse trainers, and many others across the globe. For the past 20 years, Curt has conducted demonstrations and clinics on BQA, cattle handling, and stockmanship. His skill in conducting stockmanship demonstrations coupled with his effective communication and ability to establish immediate trust and camaraderie with his audiences have made him a sought-after clinician, both on the national and international level.