Mershon Cattle named BIF Commercial Producer of the Year
June 20, 2019
The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Bruce and Tracey Mershon of Mershon Cattle LLC the BIF Commercial Producer of the Year Award June 18 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium in Brookings, S.D. This national award is presented annually to a producer to recognize their dedication to improving the beef industry at the commercial level.
Mershon Cattle LLC is a diversified crop and livestock operation headquartered on a Century Farm in Buckner, Mo. The Mershon family has deep roots in Missouri agriculture. In 1865, Bruce’s great-great-grandfather, Eli Mershon, settled in the Fort Osage area of Jackson County and purchased 160 acres shortly thereafter. The family has farmed there ever since.
Bruce and Tracey Mershon have owned cattle since 1993 and launched Mershon Cattle LLC in 2012. They purchased Sunny Acres Farm in Appleton City, Mo., in 2013 to expand the operation. The Mershon cow herd consists of 1,600 Angus-based, crossbred cows, which are bred to Hereford, Simmental and Charolais sires. This complementary breeding program allows the operation to produce efficient, high-performing offspring, and is paired with a sustainable grass management program to maximize environmental stewardship.
Bruce and Tracey have built their award-winning cattle operation while working full time as a commodity trader and marketing communications professional, respectively. A key to their success is gathering complete phenotypic records on each calf crop from birth to harvest. In conjunction with utilizing cutting-edge reproductive technologies, this phenotypic data is used to implement strategic improvements in building accuracy for their cow herd.
In 2017, the American Hereford Association (AHA) invited Mershon Cattle to become a test herd in the National Reference Sire Program (NRSP). Bruce and Tracey were already using Hereford semen and collecting the complete phenotypic data required for the NRSP, making this program an ideal fit for Mershon Cattle. Through participation in the NRSP, replacement females and fed steers will be ran through an individual feed intake system to establish a baseline for feed efficiency.
The Mershons are passionate about growing their community and bettering the beef industry. Bruce and Tracey hold leadership roles within multiple livestock organizations and other national agricultural groups. Through leadership and involvement, the Mershons endeavor to improve their operation, their land, their community and the beef industry every day. Mershon Cattle LLC was nominated by the AHA.
Beef producers, academia and industry representatives attended the organization’s 51st annual convention. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.
For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of the meeting and tours, visit BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit Beefimprovement.org.