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 Summer Conference in June. 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. Only current IBA members are eligible to win; nominations will be reviewed by the IBA Awards Committee.*

All award nominations are due by March 1, 2018.

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

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.

Nomination form

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.

Nomination form

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.

Nomination form

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.

Nomination form

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.

Nomination form

2017 Award Winners

Congratulations to all of this year's winners!

2017 Farm Family of the Year

adams farms of sandwich

Just south of Sandwich, Illinois, Alan and JoAnn Adams, along with their son, Ross, his wife, Jessie, and their two children, work together to raise corn, soybeans, and cattle. The fifth generation of the Adams family to farm this ground, Alan joined the operation after college. As he and JoAnn started their family, they also began to grow their cattle enterprise. The operation expanded again when Ross and Jessie came back to the farm in 2009 with the addition of their first new cattle barn. They’ve built two more barns since then to accommodate more feeder cattle and to hopefully try and generate the income that would sustain both families. And while the feedlot provides these opportunities for growth, the Adams family enjoys running their small cow-calf herd on their rolling, wooded pastures. With 1,500 head on feed, the family still provides exceptional care for the animals and holds great concern for meeting consumer demands. As the family focuses on raising a quality product, they also look towards the future of the operation and sustaining it for the seventh generation.

2017 Seedstock Breeder of the Year

Tree lane farms of el paso

Founded in 1943 by pioneer Angus Breeder, Loren Schlipf, Tree Lane Farms has a rich history in the purebred cattle business. One of the first to embrace black Simmental cattle, Dale Schlipf, used this Angus cow herd as a base to fulfill his vision for the operation. Today, Tree Lane Farms still focuses on raising quality seedstock. While the Schlipf family’s passion for raising elite cattle has never wavered, their breeding program has adapted over the years to bring more high-quality animals to the marketplace. Their focus has been in investing in donor quality females from four different breeds to flush for embryos. The intense embryo transfer program in place allows Tree Lane Farms to produce a greater volume of quality cattle without drastically expanding the cow herd or overwhelming their resources. The farm’s premium calves are marketed as show animals and bulls are marketed through several avenues. Tree Lane Farms has certainly earned a reputation for raising quality seedstock, and that’s something in which the entire family takes pride.

2017 Commercial Producer of the Year


For the Kassing family, the cattle business is truly a way of life. When Bob Kassing’s parents cleared the ground on their farm near Mount Sterling, they also cleared a path for their family to build generations of agricultural heritage. Bob is the fifth generation to operate his family’s farm, which today, consists of 1,200 acres of row crops, 600 acres of open and wooded pasture with a 175-head cow herd. Throughout the years, the family has introduced two breeds into their program; the Saler breed and the Angus breed. This commercial cross cow herd set the basis for a functional and uniform set of cattle, that are easy fleshing, and have a great disposition. As the Kassing’s look to improve their cow herd for the future, a balanced approach to breeding is required to continually create cattle that will be in demand at the sale barn. From a rich family heritage in agriculture, to his father who helped him join the farm in 1967, to his mother who is still an integral part of the operation today, Bob, his wife, Carolyn, their children and twelve grandchildren have built a legacy on family.

2017 Environmental Steward of the Year

Isermann Farms of streator

The Isermann family has been farming near Streator since 1851. Traditionally a row crop operation, the Isermann’s looked to beef cattle as an opportunity that might help them grow and diversify their farm. The cattle enterprise started with just six pairs, but has grown to a cow-calf herd to sixty Angus-based females. As their cattle operation grew, they looked for solutions to better utilize row crop land to support the herd, while also improving the land for farming. The original plan was to implement a pasture grazing system, but the family saw potential to add cover crops. Raising annuals and crop residues has helped to make the Isermann’s row crop operation more sustainable by allowing them to produce more from their existing farmland. For the Isermann’s, utilizing cattle to graze cover crops has improved the economic viability of a practice that has important implications for soil health and the environment. Today, the seventh generation of the Isermann family is growing up on the farm, and it’s certain they’ll be passed not only a heritage for stewardship on the family farm, but also a strong understanding of what it will take for the operation to continue to be sustainable in the future.

Topic 2017 Outstanding Junior of the Year

gabrielle lemenager of clifton

Following a short stint of showing horses, Gabrielle Lemenager attended her first National Junior Angus Show at the age of nine and quickly fell in love with cattle. Gabrielle grew up showing cattle with her brothers and alongside her extended family. It didn’t take long to become involved and take on leadership roles in her state and national associations. When the Illinois Junior Beef Association formed, Gabrielle was quick to jump on board and was elected chairman. Gabrielle’s leadership involvement helped her make a smooth transition to college and now on to the beginning of her career. There’s no doubt the experiences she gained through the Illinois Junior Beef Association will be a valuable asset and she looks forward to continuing to contribute to Illinois’ beef industry.

Past Award Winners

View an archive of our past past award winners