ACWA Welcomes You

The ACWA Board of Directors, its officers and members would like to welcome you to the online home of the American Chuck Wagon Association, a 501.c.3 organization.

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About Our Association

Get To Know Us

The American Chuck Wagon Association started out as a small group of Old West enthusiasts and has expanded to world wide association preserving the American past through competitions, demonstrations, charity and school events and other venues.

Check out our Facebook Page
Check us out on Facebook

Our work is funded by sponsorships, tax-free donations, honorariums and memorials; (We are a 501.c.3 organization); cap sales in our General Store (go shopping); as well as membership dues. For donations, honorariums and memorials, you may send a check or money order to:
ACWA, P.O. Box 626, Belton, TX 76513. For Honorariums and Memorials, please include the name of the person remembered/honored, and an address for a thank you card.

Youth & the ACWA

ACWA knows our future lies in our youth and we support them by offering scholarships, helping with youth cook offs, demonstrations and other educational activities at cook offs, schools and other events. Check out the YOUTH page for more information.

ACWA Scholarships

Each year ACWA awards scholarships (read more) to individuals for up to $1000/year. You can download the application and instructions here. Applications and all supporting documents must be completed and postmarked no later than February 28, each year.

Scholarship recipients for the 2023-2024 school year are Levi Reinhardt from Eaton, Colorado and Trista Bowen from Amarillo, Texas.

Youth Cook Offs

For more information about youth cook offs, see our page. If your organization would like to request up to $150 and other ACWA supplies for a youth cook off, download the form and submit to

Brian Frankum
via email at
via mail to PO Box 85, Axtell, TX 76624


The American Chuck Wagon Association is always looking at ways to involve and educate our youth. Another way many involve the youth are through chuck wagon demonstrations. If you or your organization have hosted a chuck wagon demonstration, please send the information on your event along with any pictures to so we can post it onto our ACWA Facebook as well as feature your event in the next edition of the ACWA Monthly Update or ACWA quarterly newsletter, Under the Fly.


Currently ACWA has limited funding for these activities but through your generosity we want to expand our funding of scholarships, youth cook offs and other events! Please consider giving donation or memorial (specify on your gift YOUTH) so we can continue and even expand ACWA's involvement.

General Store

ACWA provides quality merchandise so check it out! Whether you are wanting to cook up some authentic chuck wagon meals or show off your support of ACWA through the purchase of a cap or apron...we have something for everyone! Click here to check out what we have!

Chuck Wagon Catering

Many of our members offer catering services. Check out the link above to contact one of them about bringing some of the finest chuck wagon cooking to your next event.


ACWA News & Events

For upcoming events, click on the EVENTS tab.

April 2023, President's Message

Hello ACWA Members,

COLD. It almost seems silly to talk about "cold" since the first day of "Spring" was almost two weeks ago. But, here in the Flint Hills, Spring does not always mean warm days. Like last year we were cooking for a spring branding crew and the night temperatures were below freezing every night. The cowboys would crawl out of their bedrolls and head to the conversation fire to hold their leggings over the fire before they put them on each morning.

Guessing everyone has a story or two to share about cooking when it was cold. The hoodlum [or fireman] becomes the most popular person in camp with their reign at the cook fire. Coffee is truly the lifeblood of everyone - whether because of the hot coffee or the warm metal cups. Ever see people argue over who gets to wash the dishes because the dish water is hot? The cook is the bravest and toughest one of the crew because they have to shed a few layers and work with bare hands to prepare the food. I'm not sure I am tough enough to do that on really cold days. Sure, we all have cold, numb feet but cold, numb hands - nope!

It is easy to smile and laugh about working in the cold after the fact. But, when one thinks about cold conditions it brings forth one indisputable fact. Pioneers, chuck wagon crews, cowboys were solid, hardworking people. Try to imagine knowing that each day is going to be cold or cold & wet but your work still had to be done. No one was going to come along and do the work for you. The safety and well-being of the livestock [and your family] depended on you braving whatever nature had in store for the day [or night]. Not all cow crews had a tent for shelter - and the bunk house was miles away. Not all days were dry; not all nights were dry. Preparing hot food for the cowboys was not easy but the chuck wagon cooks did everything they could to keep the crews fed and well. Giving up and quitting was not something commonly considered.

This is the history we are passionate about within the American Chuck Wagon Association. This is the history we are preserving and demonstrating for people every time chuck wagons gather. Gatherings and competitions very seldom experience "perfect" weather and conditions. But, we all persevere and complete the task at hand. I will admit that I'm not nearly as tough as my predecessors but I strive to put forth my best effort whether cooking for a hard working cowboy crew or cooking for an event or competition. And I stand proudly with other members of the ACWA who approach life with the same stubbornness - uh, I mean determination.

Spring has come to the Flint Hills - the Turkey Buzzards have arrived!

John Conway
2023 ACWA President

A Little History

In 1996 at a chuck wagon competition in Amarillo, Texas, a small group of Old West enthusiasts and wagon masters talked about an association. The mission would be to preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon and its use in the short, but significant, era of the cattle drives. In 1997, in Bryson, Texas, by-laws and articles of operation were adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was off and running. Today there are members in 31 states, Canada, Germany and France.

Mission statement - Revised 2020
The mission statement of the American Chuck Wagon Association is:
To preserve the heritage of the Chuck Wagon.
This will be accomplished by the following Core Values:

  • Integrity.
  • Education on historically correct aspects of Chuck Wagons and its importance to the beef cattle industry.
  • Fair competitive events and the promotion of youth cook-offs.
  • Fun for people passionate about chuck wagons.
  • A desire to support our communities through various outreaches and educational scholarships.
  • Inspiring future generations to embrace the chuck wagon and western heritage.


Effective October 1, 2020 - ACWA Contact Info:
ACWA, P O Box 626, Belton, Texas 76513
Phone: 940-532-1788

Latest News............

The 2023 ACWA Officers and Board of Directors are:
President: John Conway - Email:
Vice President: Terry Green - Email:
Secretary: Darryl Jacobs - Email:
Treasurer: Clint Combs - Email:

Leon Fischer -Director
Justin Jackson-Director
Bobby Mims - Director
Marcus Reed - Director
Dave Wade - Director

2023 Committee Chairs are:
Audit - Sam Howell II of Odessa, Texas
Awards - Jack Ramey of Mustang, Oklahoma
Historical - Ronnie Sexton of Temple, Texas
Nomination -
Scholarship, Education, Youth Cook Offs - Brian Frankum of Axtell, Texas

Think about joining up...

2023 ACWA membership fees will remain the same as 2022 as Single Membership - $35/year and Joint Membership - $50/year. You may pay online by going to the Membership tab of this website OR by printing off the 2023 ACWA Membership form and mailing your check or money order to: ACWA, P O Box 626, Belton, Texas 76513. You do NOT need to complete a new membership form UNLESS your contact information has changed, i.e., street address, email address, etc.

Website Ad: Cost will remain the same as 2022 as $120/year; Newsletter Ad: Cost will remain the same as 2022 as $100/year. You may pay for your ads online by going to the Membership tab of this website and use PayPal to complete your purchas, or you may mail your check or money order to: ACWA, P O Box 626, Belton, Texas 76513.


ACWA Trifold Brochure
Chuck Wagon Round Up Guidelines
Recommendations for a Chuck Wagon Event and COVID-19
Acquiring Liability Coverage for My Chuck Wagon Team -- Paul Geeslin

Thanks for your continued support of the American Chuck Wagon Association!

Read the latest by-laws here.

Members participate in Cook off competitions, demonstrations, catering, charity events, school visits and many other activities to fulfill that original mission and even surpass the dreams of those organizers. Thank you for visiting our site and we hope you will visit one or more of our chuck wagon events.     Read More?

Chuck Wagon Supporters

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