Maddux named nations top rancher
Jack Maddux of Wauneta, NE, received the 32nd annual National Golden Spur Award from the Ranching Heritage Association in Lubbock, TX. The award was given in recognition of his contributions to the livestock and ranching industries and his contributions to improving the land and natural resources.
Each year, the National Golden Spur Award recognizes the lifetime achievements of the nation’s top rancher. This unique award, the only national distinction of its kind, recognizes outstanding contributions to the ranching and livestock industry. More than bringing prestige to an individual, the award spotlights the humanistic and scientific contributions of the livestock and ranching industries. Maddux was nominated for the National Golden Spur Award by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF), based in Centennial, CO.
Maddux is a fourth-generation rancher and manager of the Maddux Cattle Company. In addition to a 3,000-head feed yard, Maddux Cattle Company encompasses a 2,500-head cow/calf operation on some 40,000 acres of deeded and leased land in the Sandhills of Nebraska.
The Maddux breeding program uses a composite of Red Angus, Tarentaise and South Devon breeds. The calves are finished in the Maddux feedlot along with purchased background calves. The Maddux program was one of the first to adopt a multi-cell rest-rotation grazing management system, cross fencing and no-till corn production.
Raised on the ranch, Maddux earned a B.S. degree from Colorado State University in 1953 and served a tour of duty as an Air Force pilot. He and his wife, Carol, have three grown children and seven grandchildren. Maddux has used his knowledge to improve the family ranch, which was homesteaded in 1886.
“As an outstanding Nebraska cattle rancher, Jack’s management techniques have been sought by many organizations and people in the industry, both in the United States and in other countries,” said Robert D. Josserand, chairman of NCF. “Jack has also served the industry with a most effective leadership style that gets things done.”
Actively involved with the National Cattleman’s Beef Association (NCBA), Maddux has traveled extensively in the interest of bringing better management and financial planning to the industry. He was the first honoree to be named Cattle Businessman of the Year by the association in 1984 and served as the first treasurer of NCBA. He is a trustee of NCF.
Maddux has also held leadership roles on the Nebraska Stock Growers Association and the Society for Range Management. He is listed in the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement and received the Nebraska Ag Builder Award. He is a past chairman of the board of the University of Nebraska Foundation and he was named Cattleman of the Year in 2002 by Nebraska Cattlemen’s Association. In 2004, he was recognized as Livestock Leader of the Year by Colorado State University. Maddux and his wife were honored for excellence in the management of Nebraska rangeland by the Nebraska Society for Range Management.
The National Golden Spur Award is sponsored by some of the industry’s leading organizations. — WLJ