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2016 Awards


Contact: Angie Stump Denton, Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences & Industry Communication Coordinator, angiedenton@ksu.edu or 785-562-6197


Plum Thicket Farms Named
BIF Commercial Producer of Year

MANHATTAN, Kan. (June 15, 2016) — The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Plum Thicket Farms, Gordon, Neb., the BIF Commercial Producer of the Year Award June 15 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium in Manhattan, Kan. This national award is presented annually to a producer to recognize their dedication to improving the beef industry at the commercial level.

Plum Thicket Farms is a family operation with a passion for raising excellent beef cattle and improving the range and soil that are their livelihood. Located in the Nebraska panhandle, Plum Thicket calves 325 Sim-Angus cows and operates a small backgrounding lot.

Rex and Nancy Peterson head the cattle operation. After two tours of duty with the National Guard, their son, Patrick, came home to lead the farming operation. Patrick is passionate about improving soil health and conserving resources. His wife, Krista, is a large-animal veterinarian with a mobile practice in the area. She did a food animal internship at Kansas State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and is a welcome addition to their management team.

The family purchased the core of the ranch, along with 200 Angus cows, in January 1998. Today, the farm includes 4,000 acres of native range, grazed in a rest-deferred rotational grazing system. They no-till farm 2,300 acres, including 560 acres under pivot irrigation.

Whole-herd artificial insemination (AI) has been a staple of the Plum Thicket program. From the outset, they have maintained detailed individual performance records that follow cattle to the rail. Nancy utilized this data to make bull selections and culling decisions. She has steadily improved the genetic quality of their herd. Utilizing annual forages, their cattle live within an 11-month grazing program. They breed all of the heifers and select their replacements in the spring after they have had their first calf, selling young pairs that will likely go into a fall-calving herd. They background all of the steers on forage cocktails and swathed sorghum supplemented with dried distillers’ grains and often retain ownership through the feedlot.

More than 600 beef producers, academia and industry representatives were in attendance at the organization’s 48th annual convention. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of meeting and tours, visit www.BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit www.beefimprovement.org.

Plum Thicket Farms, Gordon, Neb., was named the 2016 Beef Improvement Federation Commercial Producer of the Year during an awards ceremony June 15 in Manhattan, Kansas. Pictured are (from left) Wes Ishmael of BEEF magazine, award sponsor; Nancy and Rex Peterson of Plum Thicket Farms; and Craig Bieber, Leola, S.D., retiring BIF president.

Editor’s Note: This article is a news release provided by the Kansas State University Department of Animal Sciences and Industry. For more about K-State’s ASI department visit asi.ksu.edu.

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