Ian Brinker earns Ohio Young Cattleman of the Year Award

Learn more about what ABS Farm is doing on their cow-calf operation in Coshocton County, Ohio, USA
calendar icon 30 January 2023
clock icon 4 minute read

The Ohio Cattlemen’s Association (OCA) awarded Ian Brinker of Frazeysburg, Ohio, the 2023 Young Cattleman of the Year Award at the Annual Meeting and Awards Banquet on Jan. 14, 2023. The award was sponsored by Kalmbach Feeds and United Producers, Inc.

The Young Cattleman Award is presented to individuals or couples, typically under 40 years of age, who have demonstrated the initial stages of a successful beef operation and exhibited leadership potential. The recipient is also OCA’s automatic nominee to participate in the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association’s (NCBA) Young Cattlemen’s Conference.

Ian Brinker is a sixth-generation farmer at ASB Farm, where they run 250 head of cattle on 1,000 acres. They also lease another farm where they keep an additional 120 calves. ASB Farms is a predominantly cow-calf operation, with a majority of the cattle being Angus and Simmental Angus crosses. They also utilize embryo transfer and AI cows for a show cattle operation. 

Brinker attended Wilmington College in Ohio, where he studied Agribusiness and took what he learned in college, such as animal well-being and nutrition, and implemented these things into their farm to help it continue to grow. 

"Agriculture has always been a main point in my life. While growing up, I learned that I had a passion for all of agriculture. Around high school, I really started focusing more on cattle," said Brinker. "My love for cattle has grown both on the commercial side along with show cattle. I like to talk about cattle with people, and I like to talk to people within the industry." 

Brinker’s main goal with ASB Farm is ensuring the cattle they have on the farm can work in the environment that they are on, which is rolling hills and grass, and bringing new practices onto the farm to see positive outcomes. ASB Farm focuses on environmental stewardship by working closely with Soil and Water and having them place heavy-use pads where they feed throughout the winter. They also do aerial seedings onto their crop fields to allow grazing on these fields in the winter. 

"We've built dividing fences, so we get in there and stockpile grass and then rotate accordingly throughout the year," he said. 

Brinker works closely with the Ohio Department of Agriculture, and ASB Farm has a manure management plan to ensure they are not overapplying but also make sure they are creating fertile soil to grow the best crop and grass to feed their livestock. Brinker plans to continue being proactive and bringing new ideas to the farm to help it continue to grow for future generations.

"Being the sixth generation here at the farm, of course, the generations before me were sustainable, and I want to continue that by bringing in new practices that I've learned from school or other people in the cattle industry," he said. "I think it's very important to talk to those people, so you can learn about what's going on in the world, and especially in the cattle industry and the ag sector, because I want to continue to pass this farm along to the next generation." 

Brinker says in agriculture, it's okay to be a little unorthodox and to farm differently from your neighbors. It gives people a reason to ask why you do or don't do something. 

"Cattle have been really important to me because I know that our livelihood is impacting many other people, not just in the state but across the country. We're able to put a good meal on someone's table. You don't think about it on a day-to-day basis, but the work that you're doing with your cows or within your within your farm has a huge impact on many other people. We don't just feed America but we feed a bunch of people in the world," he said. "For me to explain to someone where their beef comes from is wildly important, because there's a big misconception about where people get their meat. I want people to stop and say, 'Wow, this is really where my T-bone comes from, or this is where our burger comes from.' Yes, this is where it comes from."

Sarah Mikesell


Sarah Mikesell grew up on a five-generation family farming operation in Ohio, USA, where her family still farms. She feels extraordinarily lucky to get to do what she loves - write about livestock and crop agriculture. You can find her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

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