Honoring breeders and commercial 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 69th installation of this prestigious event took place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kalispell, Montana, on Sept. 16 and again delivered upon the promise to recognize remarkable producers for their excellence. 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 recipients were Bob and Julie Morton of Green Mountain Red Angus. The Mortons have dedicated their time to the improvement of the breed through their servanthood commitments, from marketing to information technology to serving on the board of directors.
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.
Kyle Shobe is this year’s recipient. Shobe is an auctioneer, musician and teacher. He and his wife, Jodie, own the Lewistown Livestock Auction. Shobe consistently supports the Red Angus breed through his service to local boards, committees and educational outlets while also calling nearly 40 purebred sales per year, many of which are Red Angus sales.
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 is Jake Feddes, who advocates for the Red Angus breed and beef industry through his family’s meat processing business, social media and service with ag policy organizations. Feddes is the chair of the Young Cattlemen’s Conference, works with the Montana Beef Council to promote beef and hosts ranch tours for dietitians to highlight beef production.
The Outstanding Junior Award is awarded to an outstanding JRA member who has contributed his or her services to the betterment of the national JRA throughout the past year.
Isaac Berg is this year’s recipient. Berg sparked his love for the JRA at the annual round-up event in Montana and, after attending, he went on to serve on the JRA board of directors. Berg is well known for his enthusiasm for speaking about cows, industry news and life, and has spent his time in the JRA building relationships and helping younger members discover their passion for agriculture.
The Melvin Leland Innovative Leadership Award recognizes Red Angus members or individuals of the RAAA who have had a positive impact on the association through serving in a leadership role. Qualifying candidates should have served on an RAAA committee for at least five years – and preferably were previous recipients of the John V. Robbins Distinguished Service Award.
This year’s recipient is Steve Andras, who is applauded for his contributions to the breed through his highly sought-after cattle, as well as his commitment to the betterment of Red Angus and the RAAA. Andras has worked on multiple committees and has served two terms as RAAA board of directors’ president, where he consistently leaned on thoughtful and positive leadership to guide the association through multiple challenges. He also established an annual prayer breakfast at the National Red Angus Convention, which was recently renamed the Steve Andras Prayer Breakfast.
The Darrell and Mary Lou Schuler Memorial Award recognizes outstanding advocates for financial and fiscal responsibility within the RAAA. The award recognizes individuals who have led efforts or given significant contributions through their gifts (monetary or otherwise) to advance the long-term mission of the Red Angus breed and its philosophies.
This year’s recipient is Charles Jackson III, who was awarded posthumously; Cam Forbes accepted the award in his place. Jackson was a Vermont carpenter and farmer who was well
known for his love of the land and cattle. Jackson was committed to improving the quality of his herd for efficient beef production and had a close relationship with the Forbes family, who first sparked his interest in and love for Red Angus cattle. Jackson generously gifted the Red Angus Foundation Inc. with funding for the Sal Forbes Research Fund to ensure the breed stays on its path of constant discovery started by its founders – a path of providing seedstock to commercial producers that uses the best available science for objective selection.