In autumn 2022, Girls Eat Beef Too creator Markie Hageman Jones, a beef industry leader and advocate, as well as first generation cattlewoman, wanted to create a platform that highlighted women in the beef and cattle industries who exemplify being a businesswoman, a steward of the land and industry and a leader within her community.

Having entered the cattle industry without a background in it, Hageman Jones also felt that women of all ages, backgrounds and experiences deserved better recognition for their efforts and that the industry was failing to provide resources for those wanting to be more involved in the beef industry. She wanted to provide a place to help others improve upon their businesses, help them create and build their business and also improve their involvement within the industry as active leaders and members in their communities and organizations. This led her to establish the Beef Businesswoman of the Year award and Beef Businesswomen platform.

For the award, women must be nominated, or nominate themselves, through an online form. They will answer a number of questions about their involvement within the industry as a ranch manager, direct-to-consumer beef business owner or industry career woman and how they contribute to the beef industry through community and advocacy. Using a panel of judges, each nomination will be screened and one woman will be selected each year as the Beef Businesswoman of the Year. Hageman Jones hopes this will increase awareness for powerful, career-driven women in the beef and cattle industries and incentivize more women to get involved in the industry in various ways.

Beef advocate and cattle producer launches award for business women in the cattle industry

Markie Hagerman Jones

Her five-year plan is to establish an annual Beef Businesswomen meet-up where cattlewomen, college students and industry members can gather to network, hear from industry experts about how to improve their businesses or careers through workshops and talks that dive into topics such as establishing a business in their respective states, managing an operation, finding funding and other resources and how to increase their advocacy and industry organization involvement.

As a way to establish support for this plan, Hageman Jones has created a Facebook and LinkedIn group for the Beef Businesswomen platform, where discussions about pricing beef, managing a relationship with a local butcher and other business related topics occur weekly. She provides job postings, links to resources and encourages a kind, welcoming atmosphere so everyone can feel empowered to learn more about being in the beef industry.

The beef industry can be an intimidating place to navigate. Women who didn’t grow up in the cattle business may not seek out opportunities to strengthen their involvement, and others just may feel that they don’t serve a purpose off their farm. The Beef Businesswomen platform and award have a purpose to encourage and empower more women to grow in the beef industry, become leaders for their communities and active members of their beef industry organizations.

To nominate someone for the Beef Businesswoman of the Year, go to The deadline is Jan. 31.