National Stocker Award
National Beef Stocker Award

BEEF Stocker Award Nominations due September 1

The BEEF National Stocker Award recognizes the best of the best in the stocker segment of the cattle business.

Collectively, the stocker sector of the beef industry serves as the fulcrum of production, aggregating and sorting cattle into similar groups, warehousing and distributing spring-heavy calf production across the calendar year, exploiting lower-cost forage gains.

Yet, stocker production—the bridge between the cow-calf pasture and the feedlot—is often overlooked, in part because there are so few stocker-exclusive or stocker-first operations. As an example, according to the National Stocker Survey conducted by BEEF several years ago, 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 reasons BEEF established the National Stocker Award program in 2006 and why Zoetis became a program partner in 2014. 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. 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.

The National Stocker Award winner is recognized each year at the Best of Beef Awards Breakfast held during the annual Cattle Industry Convention. The next one is Jan. 30-Feb. 1 in New Orleans.

Want tips on how the winners do it? Then check out the articles we’ve written on each of the 11 winners. Chances are, one of them has encountered and overcome a similar challenge to what you’re facing.

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 Sept. 1, 2018. E-mail it to Wes Ishmael at [email protected] or mail a hard copy to him at 1305 Blanco Court, Benbrook, TX 76126.

If you have questions, please contact Wes Ishmael at [email protected] or by phone at 817-249-4545.

Please include the following information:


  • Name
  • Operation name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • e-mail 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

  • Name of Nominator
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • e-mail address
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