National Competition Honors Cattle Auctioneer and Dairy Producer
SAN ANTONIO – Jim Warren and Phoebe Bitler are the winners of the 2010 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Award sponsored by Safeway’s Rancher’s Reserve® beef, Cargill, the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and The Beef Checkoff. Warren was selected as a leader in cattle production and Bitler in dairy production.
“Our winners this year are two of the finest candidates we’ve seen,” said Ryan Ruppert, director of Beef Quality Assurance. “Jim and Phoebe demonstrate the highest commitment to quality assurance and a dedication to advancing BQA standards industry wide while running sustainable operations.”
“Safeway celebrates the Beef Quality Assurance Award winners for their dedication to raising the best animals for the dairy and beef industries,” said Mike McGinnis, senior vice president of meat and seafood operations for Safeway. “Quality assurance standards in the beef producer category allow our industry to deliver safe, wholesome, high-quality beef.”
Warren operates 101 Livestock, Inc., out of Aromas, California. Matt Byrne, executive vice president of the California Cattleman’s Association, nominated Warren for his transparency and his ability to show the public that livestock producers care as much for animals as activists do. Warren used his common sense approach along with the advice of experts such as Temple Grandin to become a forerunner in ensuring the long-term health of cattle. Warren’s company employs 12 people full time and sells up to 60,000 head of cattle a year.“
The Beef Quality Assurance Award celebrates the attention and care producers across America employ while raising cattle,” said Ken Bull, Cargill’s vice president of cattle procurement. “Cargill is proud to work with operations such as Jim’s to source quality cattle so that we can supply excellent beef to our customers.”
For Bitler, quality assurance is about tradition blended with innovation. On her Pennsylvania farm, Vista Grande, she nurses many of her newborn dairy calves by hand. The farm is in Fleetwood, Penn., where she and her family raise 100 milking cows, manage a dairy replacement business and farm 420 acres to produce livestock feed.
The family modernized the farm, founded in 1937 by Bitler’s parents, to include state-of-the-art feeding, vaccination and handling processes. Bitler passes on her industry knowledge and her belief that “if you take good care of the cow, she will take good care of you” to her son, two young dairymen whom she mentors and Pennsylvania residents through community education events.
The Pennsylvania Beef Council championed Bitler’s nomination for dairy production. The organization praised her farm roots, devotion, compassion and commitment to fervently serve her industry any way she can.