LUBBOCK, Texas (NEWS RELEASE) — The following is a news release from the National Ranching Heritage Center:
Monte Dean Cluck, the fourth generation in his family to ranch and farm in the Texas Panhandle, has been named recipient of the 2020 National Golden Spur Award recognizing accomplishments by a single individual in the ranching and livestock industries.
“The award is the most prestigious honor given to one person by both industries,” said Jim Bret Campbell, executive director of the National Ranching Heritage Center at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. “It recognizes iconic industry leaders whose devotion to land and livestock has earned them the notable respect and admiration of their peers.”
Cluck will be honored during the National Golden Spur Award dinner at 6 p.m. Saturday, October 10 at the Overton Hotel in Lubbock. The annual award was established in 1978 and is jointly sponsored by the American Quarter Horse Association, National Cattlemen’s Foundation, Ranching Heritage Association, Texas Cattle Feeders Association, Texas Farm Bureau, and Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association.
Cluck’s parents—Dean and Rita Cluck of Gruver, Texas—were early pioneers of the cattle feeding industry and started their first operation in 1961. Today Monte Cluck is CEO of Dean Cluck Feedyard and general partner of Dean Cluck Cattle Co. With three locations in the Texas Panhandle, the company has a total feeding capacity of 102,000 head.
Although Cluck grew up in Gruver, which is the location of his flagship feedyard, he and his wife Katsy live in Boerne, Texas. They have four children—Kaysha Sparling, Kallie Hauschild, Monte II and the late Colt Cluck—and four grandchildren.
“Monte holds a heartfelt appreciation and respect for the traditions, wisdom, values and integrity that come from being involved in this industry,” said Ross Wilson, President and CEO of the Texas Cattle Feeders Association (TCFA). “He takes pride in keeping many time-honored traditions alive while never losing sight of the future and opportunities that innovation provides to improve a mature industry.”
To make reservations for the National Golden Spur Award dinner, call (806) 934-0469 or register online at www.ranchingheritage.org/spur. The reservation deadline is Friday, October 2. Tickets are $95 for Ranching Heritage Association members or $125 for non-members.
Cluck was a member of the TCFA Board of Directors for 11 years, including six years on the executive committee and chairman in 2009. In addition, he served on the TCFA Budget and Audit Committee and was both a trustee and 2010 chairman of BEEF-PAC, the TCFA political action committee. Former Gov. Rick Perry appointed him to the Texas Water Development Board in 2008.
Dean Cluck Feedyard recently acquired Jacoby Cattle Co., an order-buying business in South Texas. This company includes semi-trucks and cattle trailers that transport cattle to feedyards and provide custom hauls for others. Cluck and his partners also created Tadmor Trading, a commodity brokerage company in Dallas.
All the companies combined employ more than 100 people and have annual sales of $160 million. The business is an Employee Stock Ownership Program in which employees, after meeting employment requirements, are owners in the company and share in the profits. Cluck has employed generations of families and employees who have worked an entire lifetime with his operations. He has made scholarship programs available to children of employees for the past 20 years.
In addition to cattle feeding, Cluck began contributing to his family’s farming and ranching operations in 1975. From 1980 to 1990, they expanded the ranching operation to include more than 30,000 acres of leased grassland in the Texas Panhandle. The family again expanded in the 1990s when they leased the Turkey Track Ranch in Hutchinson County, Texas. More recently they have acquired a substantial amount of dryland and irrigated farmland that produces corn, wheat and grain sorghum for winter grazing of stocker cattle.
Cluck and his partners have purchased additional properties that will combine with pasture acreage to bring grazing and preconditioning capacity for an inventory of up to 20,000 stocker cattle.
(News release from the National Ranching Heritage Center)