Sterling Cattle Company named 2016 Outstanding Rangeland Stewards, Hemphill named Prosecutor of the Year
Sterling Cattle Company named 2016 Outstanding Rangeland Stewards
Sterling Cattle Company, of Coahoma, was named the 2016 winner of the prestigious Outstanding Rangeland Steward Award for its dedication to protecting Texas’ vast natural resources. The award was conferred April 1 at the 2017 Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo in San Antonio on behalf of TSCRA and the Texas Section of the Society for Range Management (TSSRM). Clayton Henry, chair of TSCRA’s Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee announced the award.
“For more than 60 years, the Sterling family has diligently worked to improve the productivity of their land and achieve greatest possible livestock performance, all while preserving the rangeland for future generations, said Henry. “I’m proud to have members like Sterling Cattle Company and hope you will join me in congratulating them on their outstanding achievement.”
Sterling Cattle Company was started in 1954 by J.M. Sterling. Today it is operated by Jimmy Sterling, along with his wife Theresa and their family, who manage the cow-calf operation and more than 215,000 acres in West Texas. More than 90 percent of the land they manage is leased from other individuals, each with their own goals to ensure their land is used to build a better future for Texas.
The ranches under Sterling Cattle Company management have become showcases for conservation. They have significantly improved the rangeland and wildlife habitat by thinning the mesquite and prickly pear thickets that steal water from the rangeland. They have also reseeded native and beneficial grasses, developed water distribution methods and improved fencing across the properties they manage.
The Sterling family uses the land to run an Angus-based cattle herd, which they also continually strive to improve. They have participated in several branded beef programs such as Ranchers’ Renaissance and Country Natural Beef. Today, they market cattle that have received no implants or antibiotics through National Beef’s Nature Source program and provides beef to Whole Foods Market.
“I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of my entire family and hope it will encourage others to follow in my footsteps,” said Tara Sterling. “Ranchers rely on their land to make a living, which compels us to be the best stewards possible and ensure our future generations have the same opportunity that was bestowed on us by our predecessors.”
Prosecutor of Year Award goes to Heath Hemphill, Coleman County
Heath Hemphill of Coleman County, Texas, was named Prosecutor of the Year Sunday for his dedication to prosecuting cases of agricultural crime. The award was presented at the 2017 Cattle Raisers Convention and Expo in San Antonio. Dennis Braden, chair of TSCRA’s Law Enforcement Committee, announced the award.
Each year, nominations for the Prosecutor of the Year Award are made by TSCRA’s Special Rangers. Special Ranger Joe Roberts nominated Hemphill as this year’s recipient.
“Heath Hemphill has demonstrated outstanding judgement, common-sense and fairness in his duties as a prosecutor,” said Roberts. “He understands the impact of crime on cattle raisers and ensures that sentences fit the crime when those in the cattle business are victimized.”
Hemphill is the district attorney for the 42nd District Court in Coleman County. He also serves as a member of the TSCRA board and is the vice-chair of TSCRA’s Law Enforcement Committee. He received an undergraduate degree in animal science from Texas A&M University and a juris doctorate from the Texas Tech School of Law. In addition to his duties as district attorney, Hemphill, along with his wife Danyelle, operate Hemphill Land and Cattle.
Hemphill’s extensive involvement and knowledge of the cattle industry have helped fuel his commitment to prosecute often overlooked crimes against ranchers and landowners.
“I am honored to receive this recognition from the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association,” said Hemphill. “I will continue to do all that is in my power to protect the honorable men and women who dedicate their lives to feeding our state and nation.”