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BEEF Stocker Award nominations due June 16

For 11 years, BEEF has recognized some of the industry’s top stocker operators with its annual National Stocker Award. It’s time to submit nominations for the 2017 award.

For 11 years, BEEF has recognized some of the industry’s top stocker operators with its annual National Stocker Award. It’s time to submit nominations for the 2017 award.

Stocker operations are as diverse as the cattle grown and the people managing them. But all serve the common purpose of building beef more cost-competitively while rationalizing spring-heavy calf supplies with year-round feeder cattle and fed beef demand.

In many ways, the stocker sector serves as the supply fulcrum of beef production. Yet, this essential component of the supply chain is often invisible.

One reason is how folks define the sector. A cow-calf producer may be a stocker one-year—retaining calves to grow on grass—and not the next by selling at weaning.

Another reason is that there are so few full-time stocker producers. In the National Stocker Survey conducted by BEEF a few years back, only 17% were engaged exclusively in stockering and backgrounding cattle. Cow-calf operators who stocker and background their own or purchased calves comprised 65% of stocker producers.

Those are primary reasons BEEF established the National Stocker Award program in 2006. We wanted to highlight the sector’s necessary role within the industry. We also wanted to recognize some of the stocker sector’s most effective practitioners for their efforts, while offering a platform for peers to learn more about how others add pounds for a profit.

Thumb through the previous winners and you’ll find a mix of operations, from seasonal to year-round, from local to multi-state. The 11 winners to this point hail from nine different states.

All share some commonalities, though. They understand there is profit opportunity in adding pounds to calves while aggregating uniform marketing and feeding groups. They understand the unique advantages they have in accomplishing this. And they each continue to look for ways to become more efficient.

How to nominate

To nominate a candidate for the BEEF National Stocker Award program, please send a document that includes the information below, no later than June 16, 2017. Email it to Wes Ishmael at or mail a hard copy to 1305 Blanco Court, Benbrook, TX 76126.

If you have questions, please contact Wes at or by phone at 817-249-4545.

In the nomination, please include the following information:


  • Name
  • Operation name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • email address
  • General description of nominee’s typical stocker enterprise (e.g. fall-born calves purchased in the winter, backgrounded and then sold as grass calves in spring market; flyweight calves assembled into load-lots, backgrounded and then sold as stockers or light feeders; etc.)
  • How long nominee has been involved in the stocker business?
  • What is unique or notable about nominee’s stocker operation?
  • Why should the nominee be considered as a National Stocker Award candidate?

Nominator information, in case we need to follow up:

  • Name of nominator
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • email address
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