Ag alumni earn Beef Quality Assurance Awards

John and Leann Saunders receive the 2017 National BQA Marketer Award.

When the 2017 Cattle Industry Annual Convention and National Cattleman’s Beef Association Trade Show took place last month in Nashville, Colorado State University was well-represented with a number of faculty and staff from the Department of Animal Sciences as well as several CSU alumni attending the event. In fact, two CSU alumni took away major awards with Magnum Feedyard Co., LLC, owned by Steve Gabel (BS Animal Sciences ’78) receiving the 2017 National BQA Feedyard Award and IMI Global, owned by John and Leann Saunders (BS Agricultural Business ’92 and MAGR ‘94), received the 2017 National BQA Marketer Award.

A win for Colorado’s beef industry

“This is a win for Colorado’s beef industry,” said Libby Bigler, Colorado Beef Quality Assurance program coordinator. “Both IMI Global and Magnum Feedyard are great examples CSU alumni who are leaving their mark among Colorado cattle producers who have really embraced the BQA program. Both are excellent promoters of the BQA message not only to their fellow industry members but also to the consuming public.”

Bridging the gap

Steve Gabel receives the 2017 National BQA Feedyard Award.

Backed by the Colorado Beef Council, Colorado Cattlemen’s Association, Colorado Livestock Association and Colorado State University’s Department of Animal Sciences, the Colorado BQA program strives to educate Colorado’s beef producers on BQA production practices and verify BQA implementation to bridge the gap between producers and consumers. Bigler joined CSU as the BQA coordinator in September 2015.

Gabel has held a number of leadership positions in the Colorado cattle industry and has remained connected to the Department of Animal Sciences. In 2015, he was recognized with Livestock Leader Award from the department. Leann Sanders is the co-founder, president, and COO of Where Food Comes From, Inc., of which IMI Global is a subsidiary. She delivered the Fall Commencement address to the College of Agricultural Sciences graduating class in 2013.

Exemplary models

“Our 2017 award winners are exemplary models for promoting beef as a quality product from the local to the national level,” said Chase DeCoite, associate director of BQA for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). “They are working diligently to implement the newest, safest, most efficient animal health, handling, daily management and record-keeping practices, and are truly examples of sharing the BQA story.”

For more information on Magnum Feedyard and IMI Global, visit the National BQA YouTube Channel for videos highlighting the award winners.