IBA Member Awards

Your nominations for the Illinois Beef Association member awards are critical to recognize those individuals who "give their all" to make our industry the best it can be. Nominations can be made for your operation or on behalf of another producer. The winners will be recognized at the IBA Annual Meeting. We are very proud of the contributions made by the producers in our industry. This is an opportunity to recognize them both personally and professionally. Nominations close Friday, March 29, 2024! 

*Producers that have won any of the following awards in the last 10 years are not eligible.

*Nominations are CLOSED for 2024*

Farm Family of the Year

To recognize a beef producer family in Illinois who has done an outstanding job in the production and promotion of beef and exemplified leadership skills on the county and state level. Farm Family of the Year will be awarded at IBA Summer Conference and presented at the Illinois State Fair.

Seedstock Breeder of the Year

To recognize a beef producer in Illinois who exemplifies integrity, leadership and success in the production and promotion of the purebred cattle industry.

Commercial Producer of the Year

To recognize a beef producer in Illinois who exemplifies integrity, leadership and success in the production and promotion of the commercial cattle industry.

Environmental Steward of the Year

To recognize a beef producer in Illinois whose natural resource stewardship practices protect the environment and contribute to productivity and profitability.

Outstanding Junior of the Year

To recognize a member of the Illinois Junior Beef Association who exemplifies integrity, leadership and commitment to being active in Illinois' beef cattle industry.

IBA Member of the Year 

(New in 2022) To recognize a member of the Illinois Beef Association that continually goes above and beyond to support the efforts of the Association, and demonstrates a commitment to the Illinois cattle industry, and its people. 

Valued Industry Partner

To recognize an affiliated industry stakeholder for their career investment in the Illinois Beef Association and the statewide cattle industry. This award is given to an individual whose leadership and contributions have significantly benefited the Association and/or the beef industry through their professional contributions and volunteerism.


2023 Farm Family of the Year 

Andras Stock Farm 

The Andras family has been in the purebred seedstock business for 125 years, this year. Steven and Will represent the fifth and sixth generations, respectively, of the Andras family to raise purebred cattle at the home farm in Manchester, Illinois. There have been several breeds of cattle but, if you know the Andras family today, high-quality Red Angus cattle are likely what you associate them with. They still have a handful of Polled Hereford cows, as well as a few Angus; however, the cow herd is predominantly registered Red Angus. It is truly a family operation in Manchester, Illinois. Will Andras and his father Steven run Andras Stock Farm with their wives Kim and Theresa, respectively. Will and Kim have two children, Peri, and Peyton. Oftentimes, three generations of the Andras family find themselves on the farm daily, working together to maintain, build, and grow the operation. Andras Stock Farm has always been a family enterprise and will continue to be for generations to come with a strong foundation of faith, family, and good purebred cattle.

2023 Commercial Producer of the Year 

Jakobs Bros. Farms 

It all started with the clothes on his back and $10 in Norbert Jakobs' pocket. The son of a Dutch cattleman, Norbert came to the United States in 1947 in search of a new opportunity, after spending more than two years in hiding during the Holocaust. Since 1949, Jakobs Brothers' Farms has transformed into a third-generation operation, now led by Norbert's oldest son, David Jakobs. Since returning to the farm, David has helped grow the cattle operation by more than 500%. The growth of JBF is continuing now with the addition of three members of the third generation. Within the last several years, three of David's sons have joined the operation: Nik, Alex, and Ricky. All three bring different elements of expertise to the farm. Currently, JBF raises several thousand head of cattle annually, with plans for additional growth. Jakobs Brothers' Farms takes pride in producing and delivering high-quality beef. Of the thousands of cattle JBF raises every year, over 85% are choice or prime Angus beef cattle. A primary reason JBF is able to deliver such quality beef stems from the homegrown crop of corn, wheat, soybeans, and rye used to create a very nutritional diet for the animals.

2023 Outstanding Junior of the Year 

Paige Lemenager 

Paige Lemenager’s humble demeanor, second-to-none work ethic, and passion for the cattle industry secured her spot at the 2023 Outstanding Junior. Paige is currently finishing her freshman year at Lake Land College in Mattoon, Illinois where she is a member of the livestock evaluation team while working on an Ag Transfer Degree. Paige has been an active member of the Illinois Junior Beef Association having served as the District II Director for two years and currently serving as the Vice President. Paige has garnered an impressive resume within 4-H and FFA, alike. Paige has also been a member of the Illinois 4-H Livestock Ambassador Team and the Illinois Farm Bureau and Affiliates Youth Education in Agriculture program. Miss Lemenager has demonstrated her leadership skills within the Illinois Junior Hereford & Angus Association and National Junior Hereford & Angus Association, too! Beyond simply being involved in programs, Paige always makes it a priority to mentor those younger than her, lend a helping hand whenever possible, and shine as a role model to anyone looking up. 

2023 Environmental Steward of the Year 

The Mcmanaway Family 

Over the past decade, the McManaway family has transformed their operation with guidance from various government programs which have helped them grow in a way that benefits their land and the environment. Through EQUIP they have put in over five miles of new high-tensile fences, and installed water lines and drinking stations in each pasture. The ultimate goal of their EQUIP work is to limit the herd’s access to highly erodible areas within their 140-acre farm. In addition to environmental preservation, utilizing an intense rotational grazing plan has allowed the McManaways to run more numbers without putting added pressure on limited pastures. Aaron McManaway, along with his parents, aunt, and uncle, is dedicated to caring for the land and livestock to ensure a bright future for the next generation! 

2023 Seedstock Producer of the Year 

Cardinal Cattle Company 

Located in central Illinois on 1300 acres of scenic strip mine ground, Cardinal Cattle Company is one of the few operations that has developed from a 4-H family to an elite purebred seed stock operation. For over 20 years Cardinal Cattle Company has had one owner, one manager & one vision. That vision is to breed and develop maternal-oriented phenotypically attractive cattle that can do the little things that make money. Easy calving cattle that can convert grass to milk and milk to pounds. Cardinal Cattle Company is a diversified operation that believes Angus cattle are the hub of the beef cattle business. With this philosophy in mind, Cardinal Cattle Company breeds & develops an elite set of Angus genetics as well as marketing ChiAngus, SimAngus, and club calf genetics. Cardinal Cattle Company has been highly competitive in the show ring over the years producing a long list of local and national winners. The Wisnefski family states, “We love to win, but our greatest pride comes from the joy that others receive from our cattle as they put them to work”. 

2023 Member of the Year 

Betsy Pech 

Betsy Pech is the embodiment of selflessness. A member of the Illinois Beef Association for over 20 years, Betsy is serving her second term as a Policy Director and currently sits on the Executive Committee. Betsy is also the President of one of the state's most active Affiliate Chapters, Heartland Beef Alliance. As President, Betsy has led Heartland Beef Alliance to host monthly producer education sessions, while continually contributing to their local consumers. Beyond her leadership positions, Betsy goes above and beyond to serve those around her. As a retired Agriculture Educator, Betsy is quick to take younger producers under her guidance and lend a helping hand whenever possible. For the past several years Betsy has taken a post at the Ribeye Corral coordinating efforts for the duration of the Illinois State Fair. Betsy is always looking out for those around her and is the first to raise her hand when it comes to volunteering. Betsy has made and will continue to make, a positive impact on the students she taught, her community, her affiliate, and the Illinois Beef Association! 

2023 Valued Industry Partner

Dave Wilcox, kent nutrition Group

This award was developed to recognize industry professionals and business partners who go above and beyond, putting their time and talents to work in support of our Association and its mission. Our inaugural Valued Industry Partner (V-I-P), Dave Wilcox of Kent Nutrition Group, has continually done just that. Dave has been a sponsor of programs, meetings, workshops, and events across the state… always advocating for Kent dollars that help us further the mission of the IBA. He has served on our Board, as a leader and influencer, helping strengthen IBA and make change and advancement. He has put countless miles on his pickup, crisscrossing Illinois for IBA meetings and affiliate events, always encouraging current IBA members to stay involved, and regularly helping recruit new faces into the membership as well. We are honored to have Dave Wilcox in our state and as such a strong supporter of the cattle business.


Past Award Winners

View an archive of our past award winners!

2022 | J. Willrett Farms, Jamie & Larisa Willrett | Malta 

2021 | Frost Family | Tallula

2020 | Edenburn Family | Penfield

2019 | Graff Land & Livestock | Middletown

2018 | Pfundstein Family | Sterling

2017 | Adams Farms | Sandwich

2016 | Kendall Tarr Family | Newton

2015 | Prescott Family | Sherman

2014 | Curt Rincker Family | Shelbyville

2013 | Mike McClelland Family | Bowen

2012 | Larson/ Martz Family | Maple Park

2011 | Kocher Family | Henry

2010 | Roger Nordman Family | Oregon

2009 | J. Willrett Family | Malta

2008 | Pfundstein Family | Sterling

2007 | Bliler Family | Mechanicsburg

2006 | Vern & Jean Schiller Family | McHenry

2022 | C-Mor Beef Farm, Art Farley | Seymour 

2021 | Lorenzen Farms | Chrisman

2020 | Double Diamond Angus | Chrisman

2019 | Adcock Land & Livestock | Moweaqua

2018 | Curtin Land & Cattle | Blue Mound

2017 | Tree Lane Farms | El Paso

2016 | Diamond A Farms | Altamont

2015 | Dameron Angus | Lexington

2014 | Prairie View Farms/Alan Miller | Gridley

2013 | Lowderman Cattle Company | Macomb

2012 | Wildberry Farms | Hanover

2011 | Murphy's Angus | Illiopolis

2010 | Perks Ranch | Rockford

2009 | Panther Creek Ranch | Bowen

2008 | Rincker Simmentals | Shelbyville

2007 | Musgrave Angus | Griggsville

2006 | Andras Stock Farm | Manchester

2005 | Tomlinson Farms | West Frankfort

2004 | Sauk Valley Angus | Rock Falls

2003 | Sunnyhill Angus Farm | Fairview

2002 | J. Ben Curtin | Taylorville

2001 | Max West | Omaha

2000 | Ellis Farms | Chrisman

1999 | Brecher Angus Farm | Groveland

1998 | John & Fred Curtain | Blue Mound

1997 | Kramer Farms | Farina

1996 | DeKap Angus | Lanark

1995 | Jim & JoAnn Enos | Stockton

1994 | Gerald & Lois Neher | Anna

1993 | Bill Eiten | Huntsville

1992 | Bud Hobbs | Good Hope

1991 | Norman Bruce & Les Mathers | Mason City

1990 | Lester & Tom Saxe | Thompsonviile

1989 | Bill & Steve Florshuetz | Sublette

1988 | Rincker Brothers | Strasburg

1987 | Jim Hall | Eddyville

1986 | Jay Book | Sterling

1985 | Ivan & Frank Rincker | Strasburg

1984 | Clifford & Bruce Betzold | Nokomis

1983 | Fred Killam | Jacksonville

1982 | Lawrence Meyer | Topeka

1981 | Stanley Nesemeier | Lanark

1980 | W.B. Williams | Plymouth

1979 | Herman Schaefer | Morris

1978 | Rock River Farms | Byron

1977 | Gibb Angus Farms | Piper City

1976 | Loren Schlipf | El Paso

2022 | Cramer Family Farms | Macomb 

2021 | O'Hern Stock Farms | Vermont

2020 | Weber Beef Inc. | Geneseo

2019 | Dean Beef & Bacon | Le Roy

2018 | ODK Wagenknecht Farms | Milledgeville

2017 | Kassing Farms | Mount Sterling

2016 | Bob Fidler Family | Fairview

2015 | Head Cattle/Dipper Farms | Blue Mound

2014 | Black Gold Ranch/Steve Foglesong | Astoria

2013 | Bill Bass | Cobden

2012 | Quarter B Farms | Pleasant Plains

2011 | Hadden Farms | Jacksonville

2010 | Slykhuis Farms | Raleigh

2009 | Gehrke Farms | Delavan

2008 | Stan & Lisa Buzzard | Beecher City

2007 | Freedom Hills Ranch | Mt. Carroll

2006 | Trevor & Jane Toland | Macomb

2005 | Larry & Barry Dowell | Stronghurst

2004 | Ken & Sara Nimrick | Stronghurst

2003 | David & Steven Krupps | Mt. Sterling

2002 | Cliff Schuette | Breese

2001 | Mark Kern | Mt. Vernon

2000 | Indian Knoll Cattle Company | Taylorville

1999 | Mike & Tom Endress | Tremont

1998 | Unsicker Farms | Peoria

1997 | Bill Boston | Roodhouse

1996 | Mike Kitley | Flora

1995 | Bill Hesler | Salem

1994 | David C. Howard | Hanover

1993 | Charles Postel | Rockbridge

1992 | Midland Coal Company | Farmington

1991 | Art Farley |Mahomet

1990 | Carl Hartweg | Carthage

1989 | Walt JoAn Mary & Mark Bollman | Ava

1988 | Ray Peugh | Sterling

1987 | Ed Whitaker | Forest City

1986 | Mike & Dave McGee | Catlin

1985 | Olin & Larry Kennedy | Forest City

1984 | Ransom Tompkins | Fairview

1983 | Delmar & Joyce Nelson | Elizabethtown

1982 | Jim Neumann | Milan

1981 | Harry & Rick Kline | LeRoy

1980 | William Romersberger | Eureka

1979 | G. W. Campbell | Villa Grove

1978 | Rober & Lloyd Simon | Princeton

1977 | Doug Vandermyde | Morrison

1976 | John Jameson | Canton

2022 | Head Bros. Land & Cattle | Blue Mound 

2021 | Wildberry Farms | Scales Mound

2020 | The Sanderson Family | Clare

2019 | Hillstown Farms | Marissa

2018 | Lamoreux Farms | Lanark

2017 | Isermann Farms | Streator

2014 | Trevor Toland | Macomb

2013 | Ted Krauskopf | Highland

2012 | Larson Farms Partnership | Maple Park

2011 | Pfundstein Farms | Sterling

2010 | Funk Farms Trust | Shirley

2009 | Irl Rincker Farmily | Shelbyville

2008 | Ron & Jeanne Helm | Oreana

2007 | Zane & Connie Schneider | Trenton

2006 | Jim & Mary Burrus | Jacksonville

2005 | Terry & Michele Rush | Pittsfield

2004 | Bill Rudow Family | Pana

2003 | Cliff Schuette Family | Breeze

2002 | Tom & Mike Endress | Tremont

2001 | Riddell Polled Herefords | Sparland

2000 | Clarence & David Allbritten | Belknap

1999 | Otis & Otto Rincker | Strasburg

1998 | Jim Doane | Barry

1997 | Alan Adams | Sandwich

1996 | Dean Larson | Prophetstown

2022 | Al Lyman | Cambridge 

New in 2023!