If you haven't already nominated your own stocker program -- or that of a peer -- for BEEF magazine's National Stocker Award, look for the details at www.beef-mag.com and consider doing so.

One finalist will be chosen from each of the following categories: Summer stocker operation (forage-based),

Fall/winter stocker operation (forage-based) and

Backgrounding/dry lot stocker (feed-based). Of these three finalists, one will be selected to receive the National Stocker Award and a $10,000 cash prize. The winner also receives a trip to the 2007 NCBA Convention for special recognition. BEEF will announce the winner and publish stories about the three finalists in the October issue.

Selection will be based on info provided in the nomination form (available at www.beef-mag.com) and follow-up phone interviews by the selection committee. The main eligibility requirement is that the nominee derives the majority of cattle income from the stocker/backgrounding business.

The deadline for nominations is April 30, 2006. The selection committee includes representatives from private industry, university extension and BEEF magazine.

Besides recognizing the best-of-the-best stockers and backgrounders, the program gives peers a chance to find out how the winners excel. This is in keeping with the BEEF philosophy of helping producers learn from one another.