The Iowa Cattlemen's Association presented its highest awards, at its recent annual convention. Earning the Hall of Fame Award was Ringgold County cattleman Lee Faris, Mount Ayr.

Faris has served as a past president of his county organization, vice president of his county organization, district director of the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, president-elect of the ICA and president of the ICA. He also serves as vice president of the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation. He has been active as a committee member, serving on the state and national levels and is active in the Southern Iowa Forage and Livestock Committee.

He has served as a commissioner for the Ringgold County Soil and Water Commission Districts since 1986 and has been vice chair and chair of the State Soil and Water Committee, on the State Technical Committee. He also is involved in the Gooseberry Lake ag project, in Ringgold County. He has served on the fair board and the pork producers.

Faris is also active in his community, serving as a Farm Bureau member, an alumni of the National FFA program, past master in the Masonic Lodge and a member of the First Christian Church, in Mount Ayr.

His cattle operation consists of a commercial cow-calf operation and a custom cow-calf operation and some backgrounding of feeder calves.

He and his wife, Martha, have raised three children, Rodney, Jacqueline and Jennifer and have several grandchildren.

The CowGal award was given to Joanne Tupper, Ionia, in Chickasaw County.

Tupper is a strong supporter of the beef industry in Iowa. She has been very active in both county organizations and spent many hours working for the beef industry promoting in grocery stores, schools, public functions, meetings, and more. She participated in the "Myth Buster" training program and became very active in schools promoting beef education through training the Youth Beef Team. She always is there to help plan the Cattlemen's 4-H Barbecue and is willing to help with any serving, grilling and sampling. If a letter needs to be done for a beef promotion or an article for the newspaper--she is willing to help.

In addition to her direct beef industry activities, she has been active in the 4-H and Youth program, in Chickasaw County, having served six years on the County Youth Committee, which included setting policy for 4-H events and programs, handling concerns of parents and leaders and evaluating county 4-H record books. She has served as the 4-H gardening superintendent, at the county fair.

In 1994, she was a member of the Steering Committee for Friends of Extension and 4-H, which worked for passage of the referendum allowing county Extension offices to increase their county budget appropriations. She was an articulate spokesman for ISU Extension--making over 20 presentations in October.

She volunteers to give the Pre-school Nutrition Program, at the New Hampton School District. She reviews the importance of eating from each level of the food pyramid and brings food supplies for each student to have a mini taco.

For many years, she has served as a member of the Planning Committee for the Chickasaw County Farm Safety Day Camp. The event is held each summer for youths, ages 9 to 12, with an average participation of 50 to 65 youths. In addition to working on the committee, she has taught sessions, at various times.

She and her husband, Larry, have four children.

Noller and Frank Charolais, Sigourney, IA, are the 2002 Seedstock Producers of the Year.

David Noller and Wayne and Judy Frank have spent a lifetime living, lobbying and building agriculture, and spcecifically the beef industry.

They have been in the seedstock business since 1983 and, until 2000, had an average of 150 cows in the breeding herd. They were early users of tested bulls, test stations and artifical insemination. Today, they attract a nationwide buyer clientele and recognition. They have hosted numerous local, state, national and international youth and ag groups interested in seeing the application of agricultural knowledge and management.

Noller is on the Breed Improvement Committee of AICA and represents AICA on the board of directors on the National Cattlemen's Beef Association.

Judy Frank served as chairperson of the Iowa Beef Industry Council and represented Iowa on the Cattlemen's Beef Board. She had the privilge of promoting beef in China, Korea and Japan, on a trade mission in 1999.

Wayne Frank is the behind-the-scenes man, devoting most of his time to the livestock and farm management. He is the past president of the County Cattlemen's Association and a member of the county fair board.

In their view, the future of the beef business hangs on strategic alliances that include the packer, the feeder and the cowman in a chain that encourages the passage of information about the quality of meat back to those who raised the calf.

Earning the Environmental Stewardship award was the Iowa River Ranch, operated by David and Diane Petty, Eldora, in Union County.

The operation also was named the Region III Environmental Stewardship winner by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. The Pettys will compete for the National Environmental Stewardship Award, at the upcoming NCBA convention, in February.

The Pettys, along with their daughter, Dresden, believe strongly in preserving the environment, while building a strong and viable cattle business. The Iowa River Ranch consists of seven continuous miles of pasture and cropground along the Iowa River, in north-central Iowa. The operation combines crop production with a cow-calf operation as the primary source of income.

Petty is a self-starter in the cattle business, launching his operation after attending Hawkeye Community College, in Waterloo. He then began working for area farmers and took advantage of opportunities to rent small pastures in the area that were not being utilized to their full potential. He would clear out scrub brush and then re-seed with quality forages to feed his herd. Eventually, the rented pastures began to connect, allowing Petty the opportunity to use rotational grazing.

He has constructed more than 13 miles of terraces on the cropground, 12 miles of tile drainage and three miles of buffer strips. He also reshaped more than 11 miles of waterways.

In 1999, he formed a partnership with fellow Hardin County cattle producer Dr. Larry Daniels to construct a feedlot, allowing Petty the opportunity to feed out his calves and purchase additional calves to finish.

Petty also is a dedicated leader in the cattle industry. He served on the Hardin County board of directors for six years, including two as president. He attended the ICA Young Cattlemen's Tour, in 1989, and then served as District 9 director on the ICA board. In 1993, he attended the NCBA Young Cattlemen's Tour. During these years, he has hosted many tours and agricultural groups on his operation, giving pasture walks and more.

He was the state membership vice chair and then chair. He served as ICA Northeast Regional vice president and was then elected president, a term he served two years after serving as president-elect. He has served on the IBIC board of directors and on the NCBA board of directors.

He was selected as Iowa's Commercial Cattle Producer of the Year in 1996 and sits on the Iowa Feedlot Working Group. He serves on the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation's Beef Advisory Committee, is an Iowa Beef Center commissioner and represents ICA on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's State Technical Committee.

Four cattlemen's organizations were recognized for their efforts during the past year.

Boone County, District 8, was selected as Outstanding County-Beef Promotions. Last year, Boone County served over 12,400 people and grilled beef 48 different times. The group served at a wide range of events, from Taste of Boone to the Super Nationals Car Race to grilling prior to every Iowa State University home football game.

Emmet County, District 2, was selected as Outstanding County-Membership Programs. Emmet County has a long history of strong ICA membership. The county board works hard to recruit as many cattlemen as members of ICA as possible. Emmet County has one of the highest rates of membership and renewal in the state. Emmet County is a consistent winner in the ICA Top Hand Contest.

Crawford County, District 12, was selected as Outstanding County-Innovative Programs. Crawford County Cattlemen's Association developed an innovative educational contest over the past year. It focuses on county 4-H and FFAs youths and includes a series of three to five classroom workshops on beef production and steer show that includes live and carcass evaluation.

This program was very successful in its first year and looks to expand in the future. It is a great opportunity for youths to learn more about the cattle industry and for the Crawford County Cattlemen to promote our industry.

Clarke County, District 18, was selected as Outstanding County-Overall Programs. Clarke County has revamped their membership program, adding a membership director and increasing their renewal rate to 88% and a 115% overall membership, gaining 30 new members. The group also has increased their state participation. The group started a steer test last year and presented a Lifetime Membership to a county cattlemen who had served the industry. Clarke County sponsored beef fitting demonstration, at the county fair, and furnished food to all the participants at no cost to them. They grilled for the public at the family fun night and the beef show.

Clarke County also worked hard at public relations efforts this year, utilizing the motto, "Cattlemen Care." The group sponsored several benefits for different families who suffered losses over the past year.

The 2002 membership season is in full swing, and a new year of county contests has begun. For more information on membership in the Iowa Cattlemen's Association or how to participate in the county contests, please call the ICA, at 515-296-2266.

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