Arturo Armendariz Distinguished Service Award

Erasmo “Chico” Becerra - 2011 recipient

The story of Chico Becerra, a 32-year cattle feeding veteran, is one of a man overcoming hardship with pluck and genuine compassion, one of loyalty to a higher calling of true service rather than punching a clock and one of exemplifying the high ideals upon which Hale Center Feedyard, a part of Cactus Feeders, Inc., and the cattle-feeding industry itself have been built. Without variation, the men and women who have labored and lived by Chico’s side have surmised the same words about him: He is a man of impeccable integrity, sincere regard for his fellow man and unparalleled work ethic, going above and beyond the call of duty to tend to cattle and his fellow employees.

Chico’s story also is one of overwhelming odds, including living with a prosthesis for the past four decades after losing his leg. Not only has this not been a handicap for Chico, but has given him a foundation upon which to teach younger incoming employees that their lives are worth protecting and that safety is not only wise, but is their duty to their family. Despite the adversity, Chico is known around the feedyard for his rare ability to lead employees to superior quality and for his dedication, drive, compassion, service and high standards that have set him apart, regardless of his challenges.

He is a stayer, a committer, a man whose handshake means something. In respect, he is quick to give it freely, but never demands it in return; he cherishes it when received, but never expects it. He is much more than a feedtruck driver and much more than an employee. He is a good man and a good friend to all who know him.

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