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Kennedy Cattle Company is 2018 Iowa Feedlot Award winner
FEEDLOT WINNER: Zak and Emily Kennedy (center) are presented their feedlot honor from IBIC’s Steve Rehder (left) and Rusty Gibbs.

Iowa BQA names its 2018 winners

Recipients of 2018 BQA honors exemplify continual improvement for beef cattle industry.

At the 2018 Iowa Cattle Industry Leadership Summit in December, the Iowa Beef Industry Council recognized Kennedy Cattle Co., Peterson Farms and Denise Schwab as recipients of the 2018 Iowa Beef Quality Assurance Awards. 

“The three winners exemplify continual improvement for the beef industry, encourage fellow producers to implement BQA practices and operate sustainable cattle businesses,” says Rusty Gibbs, IBIC head of industry relations. “They use low-stress, effective stockmanship handling practices and display the beef industry’s daily commitment of proudly producing safe, wholesome and healthy beef.”

Kennedy Cattle Co. of Atlantic in western Iowa is the 2018 Iowa BQA Feedyard Award recipient. The company is owned and managed by Zak and Emily Kennedy and Mitch Kennedy. 

The Kennedys have been involved in the beef industry from a young age as a part of their family’s cow-calf operation. Kennedy Cattle is primarily feeds cattle for customers from across the nation. Along with company-owned cattle, a 120-head cow-calf operation is maintained with their parents, Steve and Judy. Cattle are backgrounded for resale or fed for harvest.

They finish around 3,000 cattle a year and background an aditional 1,200 to 1,500 cattle per year. Management and attention to detail ensure the highest-quality beef.

Their techniques include training employees, acclimating calves to the feedyard, implementing BQA standard operating procedures, working closely with their local veterinarian, and sharing information with surrounding beef producers.

Peterson Farms received the 2018 Iowa BQA Cow-Calf Award. This farm is owned and operated by Curt and Kaylene Peterson of Eddyville, along with their three children. The Peterson Farm dates to 1959, when Curt’s father, Gerald, bought the farm, primarily a commercial cow herd complemented with a farrow-to-finish operation with sows and row crops. 

Curt took on a managerial role in 1980 and became the owner several years later. Today, the 385-acre farm is still family-owned and operated, running a purebred Simmental cattle herd of 40 head. The Petersons use low-stress, effective stockmanship handling practices.

Denise Schwab is the 2018 BQA Educator Award winner. She is the regional ISU Extension beef specialist covering northeast Iowa. She brings research-based information and education to the beef industry while working with a team of five other regional specialists across Iowa and the campus staff at Ames. 

Schwab promotes low-stress cattle handling and stockmanship education, having facilitated numerous events in her region. In 2017-18 she certified over 1,400 people in BQA events in northeast Iowa.

Source: Iowa Beef Industry Council

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