The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) recognized Yon Family Farms, Ridge Spring, South Carolina, as the BIF Seedstock Producer of the Year Award on June 10 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium online. This national award is presented annually to a producer to recognize their dedication to improving the beef industry at the seedstock level.
The Yons are first-generation cattle producers. Having met while studying animal science at Clemson University, Kevin and Lydia took their dream job after graduation managing a registered Angus herd in Columbia, South Carolina. When that herd was abruptly dispersed in 1996, the Yons purchased 100 cows from their previous employers and 100 acres in Ridge Spring and set out with their three young children to continue their dream of raising cattle.
Since taking that leap of faith, Yon Family Farms has grown from its humble beginnings to more than 1,500 Angus cows and thousands of acres of crop, pasture and timber land. They host two production sales a year and offer an “open door policy” for consumer farm tours and private treaty bull purchases. Each February, the family sells 200 registered Angus bulls and 100 females, and market another 300 bulls and 100 females in an October sale.
True pioneers of data collection, the Yon family doesn’t miss a beat when it comes to collecting information, enrolling in programs and returning that information back to their customers. Listening to the needs of their primarily Southern-customer base, they have introduced Simmental and Brangus genetics to their Angus cow herd to provide a genetically broader bull offering. The Yons spend an equal amount of time as stewards of their land, grazing and processing forage as sustainably as possible.
The philosophy behind Yon Family Farms has always been to produce cattle that balance all economically important traits, genetics that will keep people in business on the maternal side of the cow base and producing an end product that will meet the needs and demand of the end consumer. The American Angus Association and Clemson University nominated Yon Family Farm.
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.