The Iowa Beef Expo will kick off with three awards to be given, Feb. 11, 5:30 p.m. in the Bull Pen of the cattle barn at the Iowa State Fairgrounds.
The Iowa Beef Breeds Council has named Jim Ross as the recipient of the coveted "Friend of the Iowa Beef Expo" award. Jim Ross will be receiving his award for his contribution and support of the Iowa Beef Expo, now being held for the 37th year.
The Seedstock Producer of the Year is Everett Shepherd. He has been in the Seedstock cattle business for 47 years raising Charolais cattle currently running 100 cows. Performance records have also been kept for 42 years and Everett Shepherd has been members of the American International Charolais Association for 37 years. Shepherd sells 30-46 bulls' private treaty annually from their herd providing their customers with all the BW, 205 wt., Yearling wt., ADG on Test, WDA and EPD's that they have available. Everett Shepherd sells most at his private treaty sale, the rest are sold by private treaty.
Everett Shepherd served as president the Iowa Charolais Association for 3 years, vice president for 3 years and served as a director of the board for several years. He has represented the Charolais breed on the Iowa Beef Breeds Council for 4 years. He is currently serving as a Regional Director of the American International Charolais Association, and was chosen 2012 Seedstock Producer of the Year by the American International Charolais Association.
In his own words here is a brief historical review of his seedstock operation:
We have been in the cattle business for 46 years and have been producing Charolais cattle for 36 years. We started with a registered Angus herd, then crossed them with black white face Simmental for 10 years then gradually eliminated them and went to purebred Charolais. We have decreased our cow herd from 200 head down to 65 head. Our calving season is from January 15th to March 30th. We started hogs, cattle, corn, beans, hay and permanent pasture. We eliminated the hogs about 20 years ago. We utilize the rough ground for hay and pasture and bring the cows' home to graze on cornstalks after harvest.
The road trips all over the USA looking for the right genetics, a strong culling process, and using tools such as scan data, 205 day wts., YW, disposition scoring, soundness, and BW have gotten me to where I am right now. It gives me great pride to have commercial men and purebred breeders comment to me "I love what I see" or "I don't have bulls this good at home".
What we are striving for using these criteria's as our goals are to keep getting better. Number one goal is a cow that can and will have a calf every year and do this year after year, a disposition in our herd that any older gentleman cowboy would be pleased with. A herd that keeps improving on their YW, WW, and carcass qualities and most of all bulls I can sell to my customers that will improve their herds in all these categories.
We enjoy meeting the great people in the purebred and commercial business. A new friend is always welcome and we appreciate having people stopping and enjoying our cows with us.
Our main goal is to provide our customers with the best product we can produce for them.

Lee Faris, Mount Ayr, is well-known to Iowa cattle producers from his long involvement in leading both the Iowa Cattlemen's Association, and in many environmental efforts to raise awareness of the value that cow-calf herds bring to Iowa farmland.
That experience and willingness to be a spokesman for cattle producers earned him the 2012 Commercial Cattle Producer of the Year award from the Iowa Cattlemen's Association and the Iowa Beef Breeds Council. He received the award at the 2012 ICA Annual Convention held Dec. 10-12 in Altoona.
Faris began farming in 1972, on 80 acres of highly erodible land. In 1973, he purchased 27 head of 3-year-old bred cows, and the next spring he bought a Simmental bull from a test station. He currently has 200 crossbred Angus-Simmental cows in his commercial breeding herd. Faris has been using performance records for building his commercial herd for 35 years. He first used the records to select bulls, but grew his use of the records to select his Spring heifers, focusing on those with a moderate frame, good disposition, and calving ease.
Faris also uses the performance records on cows to cull the herd, too; looking for bad udders, hard calving records, low weaning weights of calves, and bad dispositions to make those decisions.
Each year, Lee keeps about 10% of his calf crop for replacement heifers, markets his fall calves -about 20% of his total calf crop -- as weaned calves, and 70% of his calves...those that are spring calves, are marketed as yearling feeders.
Lee uses pasture rotation for all his cows, which are on pastures of fescue and brome, with clover frost seeded every other year. He also invested in building water structures across his land for erosion control and to provide water for his cattle.
Lee has had several notable achievements, including serving as ICA President, President of the State Soil Conservation Committee, and hosted several pasture and water tours on his farm. He's an NCBA member, and received an NCBA Environmental Stewardship Award.