The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) has, since its inception, worked tirelessly on behalf of beef producers to help them improve the genetic quality of their cattle. Without a doubt, BIF has played a critical role in that accomplishment.
But, while science and technology are critically important, learning by watching others has always been an important of the educational process. That’s why BIF has recognized the best of the best through its Seedstock and Commercial Producer of the Year awards. BEEF magazine has sponsored the award for many years.
The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) has announced finalists for its Seedstock and Commercial Producer awards. Both developed in 1972, the Seedstock Producer Award recognizes outstanding seedstock producers across the nation while the Commercial Producer Award recognizes commercial producers for their dedication to improving the beef industry at the commercial level.
Finalists for this year’s Seedstock Producer Award are Grund Beef Genetics, Town Creek Farm, and Yon Family Farms.
Grund Beef Genetics, Sharon Springs, Kan., was nominated by the Kansas Livestock Association. The operation consists of about 400 head of cattle, both purebred and commercial seedstock. The purebred operation included Gelbvieh, Angus and Red Angus genetics. Balancer cattle is the predominate breed on the ranch, providing profitable traits of crossbreeding to their customers.
Town Creek Farm, West Point, Miss., is a Brangus seedstock operation founded in 1993. The cow herd consists of 500 Brangus and Ultrablack cows; 90 Brahman, three-quarter Brahman and Vigorma cows; and 250 commercial Brangus cows.
The operation has a strong international business, marketing live animals, semen and embryos into Australia, Brazil, Paraguay and Thailand. In collaboration with NEOGEN and the University of Florida, a DNA product was developed to identify the percent Bos indicus in cattle, resulting in Town Creek Farm introducing and trademarking VigorMax and TruVigor cattle. Town Creek Farm was nominated by the Mississippi Beef Cattle Improvement Association.
Yon Family Farms, Ridge Spring, S.C., is a primarily Angus operation currently consisting of 1,500 cows. In response to customer’s needs, the Yons introduced Simmental and Brangus genetics to their cow herd to provide a genetically broader bull offering. They host two production sales a year; each February, the family sells 200 registered Angus bulls and 100 females, and market another 300 bulls and 100 females in an October sale. The American Angus Association and Clemson University nominated Yon Family Farms.
The winner of the Seedstock Producer Award will be announced during the BIF Symposium Online Awards program Wednesday, June 10, at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
Commercial Producer Award finalists are Brentwood Farms, Kempfer Cattle Company and Vest Ranches.
Brentwood Farms, Brent, Ala., was established in 2014 and consists of approximately 400 Simmental and Angus-cross cows. With an eye on performance, the Brentwood Farms foundation has been built from Alabama BCIA proven genetics, from fellow BCIA producers and bull evaluations, along with leading genetics in the utilization of artificial insemination. The operation runs on a 90-day fall calving season and grazes Bahia and Bermudagrass pastures. Brentwood Farms is nominated by the Alabama Beef Cattle Improvement Association.
Kempfer Cattle Company, based in St. Cloud, Fla., is six generations strong. In addition to approximately 3,000 cows and 750 replacement females on 25,000 acres in Florida, the Kempfers also operate a heifer development program in Macon, Miss., on 2,000 acres.
Ninety percent of the cow herd is a commercial mix of Brahman, Angus and Shorthorn bulls for a maternal cross and Charolais for terminal crosses. The balance are purebred Brahman and Angus cattle. Replacements are required to have a minimum of 50% Brahman blood. Kempfer Cattle Company was nominated by the University of Florida’s Department of Animal Sciences.
Vest Ranches, Childress, Texas, consists of 1,200 head of progressive Angus and Charolais cattle. Their unique feeding program, 75-day breeding season and December calving, and management of limited forage and water resources separates their ranch from others, all while improving rangelands and wildlife habitat.
Vest Ranch cattle must be hard workers without sacrificing condition in order to thrive in the harsh landscape of West Texas. Vest Ranches is the definition of sustainability, making the land, cattle and business viable to pass to the coveted fifth generation and beyond. The American Angus Association and the American-International Charolais Association nominated Vest Ranches.
The Commercial Producer Award will be presented Tuesday, June 9, at 1:00 p.m. CDT.
A complete list of nominees, as well as biographies, can be found at BeefImprovement.org/symposium/awards.http://BeefImprovement.org/symposium/awards
BIF will host its 52nd Annual Beef Improvement Federation Symposium — Online the week of June 8 starting at noon CDT each day. For a complete schedule and to register for the free online symposium visit, BeefImprovement.org/symposium.
Denton is communications coordinator for the Beef Improvement Federation.http://BeefImprovement.org/symposium