Honoring producers for their service, loyalty and dedication to the Red Angus breed has long been the tradition of the annual awards banquet held on the final evening of the National Red Angus Convention. The 65th installation of this prestigious event took place at the Watertown Event Center in Watertown, South Dakota, and delivered upon the promise to recognize remarkable producers for excellence in their field. The awards banquet and meal, featuring steaks from Meyer Natural Angus, highlighted businesses, industry supporters and ranches that rise to the top of the breed.
The John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award is presented to Red Angus members who have contributed time and talents to enhance the services provided by the Red Angus Association of America. This year’s recipient, Craig Bieber of Bieber Red Angus in Leola, South Dakota, has a long-standing record of service, having served on the RAAA breed improvement committee, the Red Angus board of directors and as the RAAA president for two years. He is also a past president of the South Dakota Red Angus Association. He currently serves on the South Dakota Beef Industry Council and is a past president of the Beef Improvement Federation. His selfless dedication to the Red Angus breed, and the beef industry, is greatly appreciated by his peers and other industry stakeholders.
Madison Adams, West End, North Carolina, was awarded the Outstanding Junior Award, given this year in the name of Keiley Banfield, a Junior Activities Committee member and youth advocate who passed away earlier this year. Adams is the current president of the Junior Red Angus Association of America as well as the North Carolina Junior Red Angus Association. Adams’ strong work ethic, determination and knowledge of the beef industry set her apart. Adams is actively involved in youth leadership and strives to help other young cattle enthusiasts reach their goals. Her passion for agriculture is one of her defining characteristics and has been a cornerstone to her early success in the cattle industry.
The Industry Service Award is reserved for an industry stakeholder or member of the academic community who has helped RAAA achieve excellence in the beef industry. This year’s recipient, Mark Enns, professor in animal breeding and genetics at Colorado State University, has provided extensive support to Red Angus through research, analytical thinking, a commitment to sound science and the calculation and development of multiple new Red Angus EPDs. As his peers have attest, Enns is a caring genius who has provided the breed with invaluable service for many years.
The Melvin Leland Innovative Leadership Award is presented to recognize leadership in advancing the competitive position of Red Angus. Recipients should have served on a RAAA committee for at least five years and have preferably received the John V. Robbins Distinguished Service award. This year’s recipient, Tom Woodward, has been positively impacting the Red Angus breed and the RAAA for nearly 30 years through his selfless leadership and support. He is often acknowledged for enthusiasm for presenting the breed in the best possible way and for his dedication to the betterment of the breed through his service on the RAAA strategic planning, breed improvement, alliance and executive committees. He is well known for his excellent management of the Broseco Ranch in Omaha, Texas, for the past 25 years and his focus on the maternal aspects of the Red Angus cow.
The Advocate of the Year Award is presented to a special Red Angus member or commercial producer who exemplifies passion for the Red Angus breed to producers, industry stakeholders and consumers. This year’s recipient, Tom Odle, has been representing Red Angus cattle with Superior Livestock Auction for 30 years. He also owns a commercial Red Angus operation where he successfully utilizes the Feeder Calf Certification Program and other value-added marketing avenues. He has personally represented more than 280,000 head of cattle in his career, of which more than 85,000 have been Red Angus, and is always taking time to mention to other cattle producers the tremendous benefits of feeding Red Angus cattle.