Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association recognizes award winners at Summer Tour

Amber Burke
Wisconsin State Farmer

The Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association (WCA) recently honored four award recipients for their dedication to excellence within Wisconsin’s beef industry, during the 2022 Summer Tour hosted in the Menomonie area. According to a press release from WCA, the awards were presented following the WCA Annual Meeting at ALCIVIA-Menomonie Feed Mill.

Additional stops during the 2022 WCA Summer Tour included K-Lund Angus and SKOR Cattle Company near Clear Lake. WCA partnered with the Northern Wisconsin Beef Producers Association (NWBPA) for the event.  

The 2022 Cattleman of the Year award was presented to Steve Springer of Linden. Springer is a third-generation beef farmer who has been in the cattle business for approximately 40 years. He runs a commercial cow-calf operation with nearly 250 cows. His high standards for genetics and management practices create high demand for his feeder cattle.  

Steve Springer from Linden, Wisconsin, (left) accepts the Cattleman of the Year award from 2022 WCA President Brady Zuck of Ladysmith.

Springer is extremely involved in the industry as a member of the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association (WCA), and Iowa County Cattlemen’s Association. He served on the board of directors for both the Wisconsin and Iowa County Cattlemen. Springer is Beef Quality Assurance certified and actively participates in both state and national cattlemen’s educational programs. The USDA recently selected Springer to serve on the Cattlemen’s Beef Promotion and Research Board, commonly known as the Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB). CBB is responsible for overseeing the collection of the Beef Checkoff and funding of Checkoff programs.  

Jim and Roxanne Lund (left) received the Beef Quality Assurance award presented by Brady Zuck, 2022 Wisconsin Cattlemen Association President.

Jim and Roxanne Lund of K-Lund Angus near Woodville, were presented with the Beef Quality Assurance award. K-Lund is a commercial cow-calf operation with 170 pairs of Angus females. Top-end steer calves are marketed each fall with the lighter steers and heifers being fed out to market locally as freezer beef. Jim and Roxanne structure their nutrition strategy to support fetal programming which maximizes growth and production later in life. K-Lund Angus exemplifies a beef cattle operation that implements the best management practices in BQA on daily basis. With limited labor, the operation focuses on low-stress cattle handling and facilities to ensure cattle can be managed by only one or two people. 

The Lunds are diligent in implementing preventative health care with the cow herd year-round. They apply that low-stress handling through the weaning process to improve the health and performance of cattle.  

Craig and Vickie Dunnum earned the 2022 Friend of the Cattlemen award after managing the WCA Steak Trailer for over three years.

Craig and Vickie Dunnum earned the 2022 Friend of the Cattlemen award after managing the WCA Steak Trailer for over three years. The Dunnums operate an organic cow-calf operation near Westby and sell most of their cattle locally as freezer beef.  

There was a steep learning curve when Craig and Vickie took over the steak trailer as the previous managers had been in business for 12 years, but they excelled with the challenge. Craig and Vickie helped make updates to equipment and processes. In 2020, they faced the chaos of COVID-19, navigating event cancellations and the State Fair Drive-Thru. The Dunnums informed WCA they hoped to retire at the end of 2021, but continued to help with two additional events in 2022, as the search for the new manager continued. Brady Zuck, Steak Trailer Manager and WCA President, said their positive approach, can-do attitude and support for cattlemen is irreplaceable. 

From left to right: Steve Springer, Tammy Vaassen, (both UW-Platteville alumni) and Brady Zuck, 2022 WCA President. Springer, a representative on the National Cattlemen's Beef Board, and Vaasen, executive director of the Wisconsin Beef Council, accepted the award on behalf of the UW-Platteville Pioneer Farm.

The Environmental Stewardship Award went to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville Pioneer Farm. The farm includes a herd of 50 Angus and Red Angus cows, and also serves as the site of the Wisconsin Beef Improvement Association, the longest-running continuous bull test in the United States. The herd provides hands-on training for students, as well as, provides the ability for grazing and environmental research.

A highlight is the incorporation of Managed Intensive Grazing. This includes grazing in riparian areas and creating the need for additional environmental considerations. Beef unit research includes pasture runoff and pathogens in runoff. Research projects address environmental, economic, and social issues identified by farmers and interest groups through a voluntary collaboration among producers, regulatory agencies, science and education institutions, and non-governmental organizations.

According to Brady Zuck, 2022 WCA President, “Each year, the Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association recognizes individuals or farms that excel in key areas. The BQA Award recognizes a producer who is a leader in implementing Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) practices on their operation. Cattlemen of the Year recognizes a producer who not only excel in beef production, but also in leadership and industry service. The Friend of the Cattlemen award recognizes an individual who has gone above and beyond the call of duty, to help the association. Finally, the Environmental Stewardship award brings attention to the conservation practices that a producer is utilizing. WCA is extremely thankful of the efforts of all our award winners.”

The Wisconsin Cattlemen’s Association is a voice for Wisconsin’s beef producers on the local, regional and national level. The association works closely with industry partners to maintain a positive business environment for cattlemen through leadership and education.