June 10, 2020
by Angie Stump Denton, Beef Improvement Federation
MANHATTAN, Kansas – Craig Ludwig was posthumously presented the Beef Improvement Federation’s (BIF) Pioneer Award June 9 during the group’s annual research symposium online. Robert Williams, American Wagyu Association executive director, presented the award.
The Pioneer Award recognizes individuals who have made lasting contributions to the improvement of beef cattle, honoring those who have had a major role in acceptance of performance reporting and documentation as the primary means to make genetic change in beef cattle.
Ludwig earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Iowa State University and doctorate degree from Oklahoma State University. In 1971, he accepted a position with the American Hereford Association (AHA), where he worked for nearly three decades. During his time with AHA, Ludwig served several roles, but spent the majority of his years as director of the Total Performance Records (TPR) program. As head of the TPR program he oversaw rapid growth in the performance programs of AHA.
Following BIF recommendations, Ludwig implemented the AHA Feedlot and Carcass phase of the TPR program in 1976, which became widely known as the National Sire Evaluation Program. Following his time at AHA, Ludwig served as secretary of the American Braunvieh Association and chief operating officer of the American Black Hereford Association. He also served on the BIF Board of Directors and was an active participant in BIF’s annual research symposium for several years.
Ludwig, in cooperation with the University of Georgia, the Canadian Hereford and the American Polled Hereford associations, was integral in developing the first multi-association North American Hereford Genetic Evaluation, which later became international evaluations with the addition of South American Hereford associations.
“Craig Ludwig not only took the challenge – he played a large role in changing the culture of not only the Hereford breed, but the beef industry,” says Dave Nichols, 2000 BIF Pioneer Award recipient from Bridgewater, Iowa.
To date, more than 1,200 beef producers, academia and industry representatives have registered to participate in the organization’s 52nd Annual Research Symposium — Online. 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 meeting and tours, visit BeefImprovement.org/symposium.