The 15th annual Environmental Stewardship Award winner is Lightsey Cattle Co., Lake Wales, FL.

The Lightsey family has made conservation a priority on their 30,000 acres — 60% of which are improved grasses, and 40% native grasses. They maintain a cow-calf operation and preconditioning feedlot, citrus groves and timber cutting.

Conservation improvements include rotational grazing, harvesting overgrown timber, deep-ditch water systems, and controlled pasture burning. The Lightseys have helped restore 28 endangered species to their ranches.

The 2005 BEEF magazine Trailblazer Award was presented to Jackie Moore, co-owner of Joplin Regional Stockyards (JRS) in Carthage, MO.

He's honored for his years of progressive innovation and leadership in the auction facility he co-owns with brother-in-law Steve Owens.

Moore has been a proponent of animal ID, implementing a value-added, radio-frequency ID sale in March 2004. And, on Oct. 13, 2005, JRS became the first livestock auction market to earn USDA's Quality Systems Assessment certification, meaning JRS program cattle are eligible for shipment to Japan.

Pioneers in beef processing and video cattle auctions share the 2005 Beef Industry Vision Award, given by the National Cattlemen's Foundation. Dean Davis of Pingree Design and Equipment, Greeley, CO; and Jim Odle and Buddy Jeffers, founders of Superior Livestock Auction, Fort Worth, TX, share the award. The Vision Award is given annually to the industry's top innovator of the year.

From box storage to waste treatment, Davis' innovations have touched almost every aspect of the beef production and meatpacking industries. His inventions include the walking beam, hide and down pullers and curved feed bunks.

Odle and Jeffers founded Superior Livestock Auction in 1987 as the nation's first cattle satellite and video auction. Superior now has 400 field representatives across the U.S. In one month — July 2005 — Superior auctioned more than 500,000 head of cattle.

The 2005 Top Hand Club champion is David Fitzpatrick, Winchester, KY. With 82 new recruits, this is the fourth time Fitzpatrick has won the Top Hand award. Runner-up is Dale Lueck, Aitkin, MN, with 63 members recruited. The Top Hand Club recognizes those members committed to growing the membership of NCBA.

Vicky Fick, Lake City, MN, was named 2005 Outstanding CattleWoman of the Year. The award is given to a cattle woman who's excelled at continuing beef promotion and supported the ANCW. Fick has chaired the Beef Cook-Off program in Minnesota for eight years, participates in several health fairs promoting healthy eating, and has a strong passion for beef's role in the diet.