WASHINGTON – Mike Milicevic and John Ligo are the winners of the 2011 Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) Award from the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. The awards were presented last week during the 2011 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show in Denver.

Sponsored by Safeway’s Rancher’s Reserve, Cargill, NCBA and the Beef Checkoff Program, the BQA award recognizes Milicevic as the leader in cattle production and Ligo as the leader in dairy production.

“The winners truly represent what BQA really stands for,” said Ryan Ruppert, BQA director. “Mike and John demonstrate the highest commitment to quality assurance and a dedication to advancing BQA standards industry wide while running sustainable operations.”

Milicevic operates Lykes Bros. Inc., out of Okeechobee, Fla. He believes BQA practices should be considered a model for the rest of the world and can be considered a long-term solution to sustainable livestock production. Lykes Bros. Inc. is currently the fourth largest cow-calf operation in the United States.

“The BQA Award celebrates the attention and care producers across America employ while raising cattle,” said Ken Bull, Cargill’s vice president of cattle procurement. “Cargill is proud to work with operations such as Mike’s to source quality cattle so that we can supply excellent beef to our customers.”