Best of Beef Honored at Cattle Industry Convention in Nashville

August 18, 2021

Producers, advocates, students and organizations representing the best of the beef industry were recognized through a variety of scholarship and award programs during the annual Cattle Industry Convention & NCBA Trade Show, held Aug. 10-12, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. 

Environmental Stewardship Award Program National Winner

The Environmental Stewardship Award Program (ESAP), which annually recognizes outstanding stewardship practices and conservation achievements of cattle producers, honored Beatty Canyon Ranch, located in Kim, Colo., with the 2020 National Award. 

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 Corteva Agriscience, U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service, McDonald’s, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partner with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) in an effort to promote environmental stewardship throughout the beef supply chain.

Masters of Beef Advocacy Program Advocate of the Year

Kiah Twisselman Burchett was honored as the 2020 Advocate of the Year for her work helping mainstream Americans appreciate the cattle industry and feel good about enjoying beef. This award, given by the NCBA’s Beef Checkoff-funded Masters of Beef Advocacy (MBA) program, recognizes an outstanding beef advocate for their success in reaching and educating consumers about cattle and beef.

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 2021 honorees include Cow-Calf Award winner Deseret Cattle & Citrus, St. Cloud, Fla.; FARM Dairy Award recipient Willow Behrer Farms, Spruce Creek, Pa.; Feedyard Award winner Imperial Valley Feeders, California; Educator Award recipient Dr. Steve Boyles, Ohio State University; and the Marketer Award presented to The Livestock Exchange, LLC, Brush, Colo.

W.D. Farr Scholarships

Emily Melchior, New Mexico State University, and Luke Fuerniss, Texas Tech University, were each awarded a $15,000 W.D. Farr Scholarship by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF). The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship program was established by the NCF in 2007 to recognize outstanding graduate students who plan to pursue careers in meat science and animal agriculture. Melchior and Fuerniss were selected from 24 applicants based on their academic achievements, leadership and commitment to advancement of the beef industry.

CME Group Beef Industry Scholarships

Ten students pursuing careers in the beef industry were awarded $1,500 scholarships for the next school year by the NCF. The CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship program recognizes talented and thoughtful students emerging as industry leaders. The 2021 CME Group Beef Industry Scholarship recipients include:

  • Sydney Bowman, Fort Lupton, Colo., Kansas State University
  • Kinzie Burtrum, Stillwater, Okla., Oklahoma State University
  • Rebecca Coombe, Grahamsville, N.Y., Cornell University
  • Christian Cummings, Nowata, Okla., Oklahoma State University
  • Dominic Gittlein, Fort Lupton, Colo., University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Allie Herring, Franklin, Texas, Texas Tech
  • Kyli Kraft, Fort Collins, Colo., West Texas A&M
  • Carsten Loseke, Columbus, Neb., University of Nebraska Lincoln
  • Lauren Mosher, Liscomb, Iowa, Iowa State University
  • Brooke Vyvlecka, Jourdanton, Texas, Texas A&M University

NCBA Top Hand Club

The Top Hand Club is NCBA’s member-driven recruitment program, developed to recognize those NCBA members who continually give their time and effort to recruit new members. First place was awarded to Don Schiefelbein, representing the Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association; second place to Melody Benjamin, representing Nebraska Cattlemen; and third place to Mark Lacey representing the California Cattlemen’s Association.

For more information, visit

Source: NCBA