April 30 is the deadline for nominating your, or a peer's, beef stocker program for the first National Stocker Award (NSA), and the $10,000 cash prize. The competition is open to any stocker or backgrounding operation deriving the majority of its cattle income from stockering or backgrounding cattle.

Operations can be nominated in one of three divisions: Summer Stocker operation (forage-based)

Fall/Winter Stocker operation (forage-based)

Backgrounding/Dry lot Stocker (feed-based) Sponsored by Elanco Animal Health, BEEF magazine developed the contest to recognize the top U.S. stockers and backgrounders, and share with other operators the secrets to stocker success. The cash prize and a trip to the 2007 Cattle Industry National Convention will go to the winner. Find an application and more info at www.beef-mag.com. You can also contact Steve May at BEEF Magazine, 800-722-5334.

By way of clarification, if you are involved in all three enterprises, perhaps with the same group of cattle, nominate the group in the division where the cattle performed the strongest and returned the most to the bottom line. The judging committee - stocker experts from industry and university extension - will contact applicants if they have questions about whether a nomination fits a particular division or should be moved to another. -- Wes Ishmael, BEEF Stocker Trends newsletter