The Iowa Angus Association is proud to endorse Dave Nichols of Bridgewater, Iowa, as a candidate for re-election.
Dave has been in the cattle business his entire life, having grown up on his father’s cattle-feeding operation. From his father’s humble beginnings as a dryland tenant farmer in Nebraska, Nichols Farms has grown to 5,500 acres, 1,400 cows and a small feedlot. By private treaty they annually market more than 500 bulls and a large number of commercial heifers developed from the Nichols herd and those of their customers. Nichols Farms has a very active feeder calf-marketing program to enhance the profitability of their customers.
Dave bought his first steer at the age of 8 with a note from the local bank. He entered the Angus seedstock business at age 11. Dave won the National FFA Public Speaking Contest discussing the merits of performance-testing bulls. He; his brother, Lee; and his father, Merrill, started selling performance-tested Angus bulls later that year. It remains the primary business of Nichols Farms today.
Being active in the performance movement beginning in his youth, he served on the first BIF board of directors, and he continues to be a fixture at BIF meetings. He served as BIF president and was honored with BIF’s Seedstock Breeder of the Year, Continuing Service, and Pioneer awards.
Throughout its history, all revenue of Nichols Farms has been generated from cattle. Today, Nichols Farms’ managing partners are Dave; his wife, Phyllis; and his sister-in-law, Lillian. Nichols has placed more than 40 bulls in AI studs and has exported cattle, semen and embryos to more than 30 countries, resulting in five Palermo grand and/or supreme champions in Argentina.
Nichols Farms consists of multiple breeds, and he has served as president of the American Simmental Association. However, Dave emphasizes, “Angus is still the first, largest and most important” of these breeds. It is in this spirit that Dave seeks re-election to the American Angus Association Board as “a way to serve the breed that has provided me with a good living, a rewarding lifestyle, and the opportunity to travel to the world’s beef producers.”
Dave has been an early adopter of Association performance programs – from AHIR and carcass progeny testing to ultrasound, genomic testing and MaternalPlus. He places a high priority on maintaining the integrity of the Association’s herd book and database.
Throughout his career, Dave has had a thirst for knowledge and desire to serve. This has led him to serve in far too many national leadership positions, speak on too many programs and receive too many awards to list. The culmination of his impact on the industry came when his portrait was hung in the Saddle & Sirloin Gallery, considered the highest honor a person can receive in the livestock industry.
Dave is an eternal optimist and firm believer that the only sustainable money from which to build the beef industry comes from the consumer. He strongly supports the CAB brand and the pull-through demand it creates for Angus seedstock.
Dave has always been youth-oriented, having hired more than 45 high school, college and foreign interns. They have hosted hundreds of university judging teams and college tours. Most recently, he served on the committee that awarded scholarships from the Angus Foundation and was a judge for the Auxiliary-sponsored All-American CAB Cook-Off at this year’s NJAS.
Dave strongly believes that youth development is the key to the sustainability of the industry, and he feels that NJAA and the Foundation’s three-part mission of youth, education and research are critical to the breed’s future.
As an active Association Board member, he has served as chairman of the Breed Improvement Committee and as a member of the Finance & Planning, Member & Affiliate Services, and Executive committees. He has also served on the boards of AGI, API and the Angus Foundation.
Through these leadership activities and the knowledge he has gained by serving on the Association’s Board, committees and subsidiary boards, Dave strongly feels he can make his biggest positive contribution to the future of the Association and the breed if he is honored to serve a second term. If elected, he is committed to helping Angus continue to maintain and grow its dominant position in the beef industry. Your support would be greatly appreciated.