Innovators in the beef industry were honored recently as part of the 2009 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and Trade Show in Phoenix, Ariz. Recipients of this year's Beef Industry Vision Awards included Lykes Bros. Inc., Okeechobee, Fla; Lee Borck, Innovative Livestock Services, Larned, Kan.; Terry Caviness, Caviness Beef Packers, LTD, Herefod, Texas; and Harris Teeter, Charlotte, N.C.
The Vision Award, sponsored by Micro Beef Technologies, Amarillo, TEXAS, recognizes individuals, businesses and organizations in the cattle industry that have incorporated innovation into their operation in an effort to enhance not only their business, but also the industry as a whole. The award honors winners in all segments of the beef industry: cow/calf operation, feeding operation, livestock market, packer/processor and retail. Nominees were evaluated on the basis of effective use of technology, impact on production costs, ingenuity of implementation, innovative marketing, impact on the industry and optimum resource management.
The Vision Award is a pewter longhorn piece designed by Kenneth Wyatt, Tulia, Texas, and serves as a tribute to the accomplishments of the recipients.
Cow/Calf Winner - Lykes Bros. Inc., Okeechobee, Florida
Lykes Brothers Ranch was founded in the late 1800's by Dr. Howell Lykes, M.D., who left a medical career to begin ranching and producing citrus. Today, Lykes Brothers is the fourth largest cow/calf operation in the U.S. and is managed by Mike Milicevic who is based in Florida. The operation consists of more than 20,000 cows and has been involved in every segment of beef industry. Utilizing technology, they are dedicated to producing a high quality beef product, while improving profitability. Their production and marketing strategies include private treaty sales, the use of video markets and value-based practices including age and source verification programs, and preventative health management strategies to incorporate pre- and post-weaning vaccination programs.
Feeding Operation Winner - Lee Borck, Innovative Livestock Services, Larned, Kansas
Lee Borck is President of Innovative Livestock Services and Chairman of the Board of the Beef Marketing Group cooperative, which represents a unique feeding group in the U.S. Borck conceived the business model, encompassing 15 independent feed yards located in Kansas and Nebraska. He has developed an approach to meeting customer needs through alignment between the producer and the meat case. He is an active member of the Kansas Livestock Association and served as president in 1992. He has served on the NCBA board, the CBB and was president of Cattle-Fax in 1994. Lee also has provided leadership for his alma mater, Kansas State University, and in December 2007 received the KSU Medal of Excellence, the university's highest honor.
Livestock Market Winner - Western Video Market, Shasta, California
California livestock dealers Ellington Peek and John Rodgers were looking for a way to help Western ranchers more effectively market their cattle in 1989. Taking advantage of broadcast technology including Dish Network, they formed Western Video Market, a satellite auction service, which now sells nearly half a million cattle each year. Western Video Market is a confederation of auction yards and bonded livestock dealers representing cattle producers in 17 Western states. Western Video has added value, featuring RFID, Age and Source Verification and vaccination programs.
Packer/Processor Winner - (1 of 2 tie) Cargill Meat Solutions, Wichita, Kansas
Cargill Meat Solutions is a processor and distributor of fresh beef, pork, turkey and
value-added meat products. It operates 10 beef processing facilities, three case ready facilities and 11 value-added facilities across North America. As the second largest fed beef processor in North America, Cargill processes 7.4 million head of fresh beef per year which is distributed to some of the nation's leading retail chains, as well as locally owned grocery stores across America. Cargill remains committed to food safety. In the last 10 years, Cargill has invested more than $1 billion in its facilities to provide the leading food safety interventions, including the development of the hide-on carcass wash.
Packer/Processor Winner- (2 of 2 tie) Caviness Beef Packers, LTD, Hereford, Texas
Caviness Beef Packers is a progressive beef packer and further processor whose products are marketed worldwide. Pete Caviness, a lifetime cattle buyer, saw a need for an innovative beef packer in the panhandle of Texas and in 1962 bought a small locker plant in Hereford. In 1970, Pete's son, Terry, took over the company. For the past 46 years, the business has grown significantly in processing over 1,100 head each day. Caviness has been aggressive in providing systems that ensure traceability for downstream programs, exemplify quality assurance, safeguard the industry and meet consumer's needs.
Retail Winner - Harris Teeter, Charlotte, North Carolina
Harris Teeter, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Ruddick Corporation, a food market chain operating in 176 retail stores in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia. W. L. Harris and Willis L. Teeter shared the vision of opening their own grocery store and did so in 1936 and 1939, respectively. After the merger of the two entities in 1958, Harris Teeter was formed. Development of the Harris Teeter Rancher Tender Verified brand and the use of basket technology have enabled them to prove that people buy their groceries where they buy their beef.