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.

2022 BQA Award Nominations

Award Timeline and Events

  • Applications Due: June 4, 2021
  • June 2021: The selection committee meets to determine winners in each award category. The winners are personally notified but not publicly announced.
  • July - October 2021: Video crews visit each winner’s operation.
  • Feb. 1 - 3, 2022: All winners are expected to attend the 2022 CIC in San Diego, California. Travel and registration will be paid by the Beef Quality Assurance Awards program for two attendees. Winners are publicly announced and honored at the BQA Awards Reception.
  • November 2022: The Dairy Award Winner is expected to attend the Dairy Joint Annual Meeting in location TBD. Travel and registration will be paid by the National Dairy FARM Program for two attendees. Winners will be recognized at National Milk Producers Federation Board of Directors Meeting.

Nomination and Selection Process

The applications will be judged on the following criteria:
  • BQA and/or FARM Practices, Accomplishments and Goals
  • Relevant local, regional, and national BQA and/or dairy promotion group or cooperative leadership.
  • The promotion and improvement of animal care practices, BQA or FARM program and consumer perception of beef or dairy industries.
  • Effectiveness in promoting and implementing BQA.
  • Completion of the National Dairy FARM Program Version Animal Care Evaluation and implementation of the program requirements.
  • Applications will be judged using a points system totaling up to 100 points.

Applications for the 2022 Beef Quality Assurance Awards are due June 4, 2021. Any individual, group, or organization is eligible to nominate one dairy operation. Individuals and families may not nominate themselves, however, we expect nominees to be involved in the preparation of the application.

Past nominees are encouraged to submit updated versions of previous nominations. Previous winners may not reapply.

The full nomination application and directions for its completion are enclosed in this packet. Along with a typed application, one nomination letter and three letters of recommendation highlighting the nominees BQA and FARM Program efforts are expected.

Application Technical Guidelines

The nomination packet is limited to 20 pages total as follows: 12 pages for the application, 2 pages for each letter of recommendation (total of 6 pages), 2 pages for the nomination letter, and 8 pages for the nominee’s most recent FARM Animal Care evaluation. Photos are encouraged to be included within the nomination, but no more than 5, please. A complete PDF document, submitted electronically, is suggested with all the pieces compiled in a single file. Please do not send nominations in notebooks, binders, or booklets. Please keep to traditional font standards, size 12 point. All applications will be compiled and printed in color for judges to review.

*Dairy nominations are limited to 28 pages to accommodate the 8 page completed FARM Evaluation.

Completed nominations must be received by Midnight, June 4, 2021.

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.