ATHENS, Ga. – The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) presented Kevin and Lydia Yon, Ridge Spring, South Carolina, a BIF Continuing Service Award June 2 during the group’s annual meeting and symposium in Athens, Georgia.

Continuing Service Award winners have made major contributions to the BIF organization. This includes serving on the board of directors, speaking at BIF conventions, working on BIF guidelines and other behind-the-scenes activities. As BIF is a volunteer organization, it is this contribution of time and passion for the beef cattle industry that moves BIF forward.

Yon Family Farms is a first-generation family ranch. Kevin and Lydia met as animal science majors at Clemson University. After college, they landed their dream job, managing Congaree Farms, a registered Angus operation near Columbia, South Carolina. After seven and a half years of growth there, the owner decided to disperse the operation.

“I think what makes Yons unique is that they’ve built such a large, successful operation in a short amount of time on their own,” said Dan Moser, Angus Genetics Inc. president. “They bought a core group of cows from the Congaree herd and built their program on their own in a new location.”

In just 12 years their farm has grown from 100 acres and 100 cows to 1,500 acres of crop, hay and pastureland and more than 800 Angus and 200 commercial cows. Their three children have now graduated from college and have returned home to work at the farm full-time.

“Kevin and Lydia give an inordinate amount of their time in service to our industry,” Moser said.

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Kevin is currently vice president of the American Angus Association and has served as chairman of the Angus Genetics Inc., Certified Angus Beef LLC and Angus Productions Inc. boards. He has served as president of the South Carolina Angus Association and South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association, and on numerous committees for South Carolina Farm Bureau and Clemson University. He is a past director of the Beef Improvement Federation and served on the advisory board for the National Beef Cattle Evaluation Consortium.

Lydia has served as a director of the South Carolina Cattlemen’s Association, secretary of South Carolina Angus Association, director of AgSouth Farm Credit and on the Clemson University Board of Visitors.

In 2008, Yon Family Farms was recognized as a winner of the beef industry’s Environmental Stewardship Award, nominated by their local county soil and water conservation district.

More than 350 beef producers, academia and industry representatives were in attendance at the BIF’S 49th annual convention. The organization’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 www.BIFconference.com. For more information about BIF, visit www.Beefimprovement.org.

Source: Angie Stump Denton, Beef Improvement Federation Communication Coordinator