Houston -- The American Brahman Breeders Association (ABBA) held its 93rd Annual Membership Meeting March 8 in Houston where they initiated a new president, board members, and officers, and recognized outstanding members of the Brahman breed.

George Kempfer was elected as the new ABBA president on March 8, along with a new executive committee and officers. Kempfer said he is looking forward to his year in office and especially the opportunity to collaborate with the members of the breed.

"It's an honor to be asked to represent such a great breed and such a great group of people," he said, "so we look forward to working with you down the road."

Kempfer was preceded by J.D. Sartwelle, Jr. as president of the ABBA. Sartwelle mentioned in his retiring address the bright future he predicts for the Brahman breed.

"There's a tremendous future in front of us and we need to capitalize on this opportunity," he said.

With the new change in presidents, the Executive Vice President Chris Shivers will be retiring from his role too. Shivers has been the ABBA executive vice president for the past 17 years and played an incredible role in enhancing the Brahman breed and association.

"I want to thank the ABBA for the past 17 years," Shivers said. "They gave me an opportunity and together we have made great strides in improving the breed and the association. I think exciting times could be ahead for the Brahman breed and I look forward to watching them continue to have much success."

Throughout the year, ABBA members work hard to improve the breed. The membership meeting provides an opportunity to recognize its members and their animals for successful accomplishments reached throughout the past year.

"The ABBA Annual Membership Meeting is always one of the highlights of the International Brahman Show as it provides the opportunity for the ABBA to recognize its members and their animals on the successes of the past year. We were extremely proud to have a large crowd in attendance to see these recognitions given," said Shivers.

The following awards were recognized at the 2017 Annual Membership Meeting.

The 2017 ABBA Hall of Fame Inductee is Mike Partin from Montalba, Texas. He is a previous ABBA president and a continued supporter and leader of the Brahman breed. Partin said any breeder here could not have done what the Association has done collectively. It's an even bigger accomplishment to be recognized for this award because it is something he really loves.

The 2017 ABBA Brahman Friend of the Year is Doug Pierce of Blinn College. Pierce grew up with a Brahman background and now works as a staff member at Blinn College. He and the college highly value their outreach to producer groups, such as ABBA, and enjoy helping people and youth in the industry. Pierce has also judged Brahman cattle domestically & internationally.

The 2017 Sponsor of the Year is Appel Ford of Brenham, Texas. For a number of years, Appel Ford has been one of the biggest supporters of the ABBA. Each year they donate two vans for the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo that are used to shuttle members to and from the show. They have also generously donated a vehicle to the ABBA executive vice president.

The 2017 ABBA International Friend of the Year went to Maria Eugenia Rodriguez of Bogota, Columbia. Rodriguez is the Director of Communications and Director of EL CEBU Magazine of Asociacion de Criadores de Ganado Cebu, ASOCEBU in Colombia. As the first woman to be recognized for this award, she is very humbled and honored. She has great respect for the ABBA and deems it as the most important Livestock Association in the U.S.

The 2017 Henry Clay Koontz Memorial Trophy was awarded to V8 Ranch in Wharton, Texas. Each year, this award is presented in memory of Mr. Henry Clay Koontz to the ranch or individual who accumulated the most points at the previous year's International Brahman Show.

The following are the 2016 winners for the ABBA carcass evaluation and performance bull programs and show animals of the year.

2016 Carcass Evaluation Program Honorees
Top Indexing Steer: V8 Ranch, sired by Mr. V8 140/7
Top Indexing Sire Group: JDH Cannon Manso 69/8 owned by V8 Ranch

2016 Performance Breeder of the Year
Barthle Bros Ranch in San Antonio, Fla.

2016 Performance Bull Test Honorees
Top Scanning Bull - K Bar Farms, Caroline Falgout of Amite, La.
High Indexing and High Average Daily Gain Bull - W4 Ranch, Kevin Willis of Fulshear, Texas.

2016 Show Cow of the Year Honorees
For the first time in the history of this program, the winners are half sisters and owned by the same family.
Premier Red Show Cow of the Year - CT Lady Riley Manseaux owned by Leah Thibodeaux of Church Point, La.
Premier Gray Show Cow of the Year - CT Lady Lacey Rhineauz owned by Wesley Thibodeaux of Church Point, La.

2016 Show Bull of the Year Honorees
Premier Red Show Bull of the Year - Mr SG 97/4 owned by Wesley Janik of Yoakum, Texas.
Premier Gray Show Bull of the Year -TTT Suva Bob Manso 786 owned by Tic Tac Toe Ranch of Frost, Texas.

Director Service Pins
4 years - Kenneth Allen, David Andrews, Ricky Hammonds, Terry Novak and Glenn Ruschhaupt
8 years - Larry Barthle, Dr. Craig Fontenot, Mark Forgason and Jim Bob Trant
16 years - John Coleman Locke
36 years - Marcus Shackelford

Other awards named at the show were: 29 Brahmans received Register of Renown Awards, three bulls were named Maternal Performance Sire recipients, and 24 cows were named Maternal Merit Dam recipients. Go to for a complete list of award recipients, including names of the cattle and breeders.

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