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); cookbook & cap sales in our General Store (go shopping); as well as membership dues. For donations, honorariums and memorials, you may send a check to:
ACWA, P.O. Box 626, Belton, TX 76513 or call (940) 532 1788 with credit card information. 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 2020 school year are Dakota Bowen from Roscoe, TX and Sydney Ramirez from Petersburg, TX.

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

Just a reminder on membership dues. If you are mailing them in, please send them to ACWA at
PO Box 626, Belton, Texas 76513.

For upcoming events click on the EVENTS tab.

May 2021, President's Message

Hello Folks,

I hope this message finds you doing well and enjoying the many blessings we have. As I am taking care of my daily responsibilities and chores, I have just received word that we have lost another pioneer in the Chuck Wagon community. American Chuck Wagon Association founding member Shirley Richardson has sadly passed away.

I think back on all those we have lost over the last year. Young, old, experienced, and all of these folks were passionate about the heritage of the chuck wagon, chuck wagon cooking, and the western way of life.

I think about how many people's lives were touched by those who have passed on from this life. I think about the legacy that they left. I contemplate the laughs, tears, secrets, and information these folks have given to those of us left behind to carry on the traditions we so love.

I start to consider all the people who were willing to pour their wealth of knowledge into Jo Anne and me so we could be successful as we compete against some fantastic chuck wagon cooks and owners.

Bob and Nancy Sparks took us under their wings and shared many great ideas to help us be competitive. They shared recipes and cooking techniques that helped lay the foundation for tasty and successful chuck wagon cuisine. They taught us how to set up a competitive chuck wagon camp.

Kathy Christianson mentored us and helped us acquire the period-correct essentials and the little things needed to make our wagon complete and competitive.

Shirley and Don Creacy took the time to come and talk to us for hours about how we could better set our wagon up for wagon judging.

I could go on and on about how so many of you took the time to encourage Jo Anne and me as members of the ACWA. We developed so many new relationships with our newfound chuck wagon family.

I then start to ponder, how am I sharing the small (but valuable) information I have with those that will carry on the passion and desire for chuck wagons and chuck wagon cooking. Who am I sharing my knowledge with? Are there people that I am mentoring and encouraging to carry on the passion for preserving the heritage of the chuck wagon? What little bits of wisdom can I share to help someone else be successful in learning how to cook in a Dutch Oven or how to set up a winning campsite?

I believe it is so essential for us to create and leave a legacy of what we have learned. My hope is to encourage us to share a secret cooking technique, recipe, experience, or just an encouraging word to someone who can help take on the mantel for the next generation of cooks and wagon owners.

God Bless all those ACWA members who have been laid to rest over the years. I pray some of us have taken on that special something they shared with us to keep the fire burning.

I know Jo Anne and I are grateful for those who have shared with us over the years. We are committed to helping the next generation of chuck wagon cooks and owners to preserve the heritage of the chuck wagon.

I hope to see you down the trail soon,


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............
March 2021
The American Chuck Wagon Association Board of Directors are encouraged by the re-opening of chuck wagon events, gatherings and cook offs in 2021. The BOD has prepared and approved the document, "Recommendations for a Chuck Wagon Event and COVID-19" for event coordinators and sponsors.

Membership, newsletter ads, and website ad fees are due starting January 1st.
Membership fees: Membership costs are the same as last year's - Individual - $25; Couple or two individuals within same household - $40; Event - $100, Lifetime - One-time fee of $500.00.* An event membership gives the same benefits as an individual membership plus you will get your event's information (up to three pages) sent to all ACWA members as well as posting(s) of registration, event details and results in the monthly ACWA Monthly Update and/or ACWA quarterly newsletter, Under the Fly as well as on the ACWA website and facebook page.

*International members should include an additional $5.00 to cover processing and/or postage costs.

Website Ad: $120/year - As in prior years, this includes posting onto the front page of the ACWA website and this year will include once a month posting of your business card or event information onto the ACWA Facebook page.

Newsletter Ad: $100/year - As in prior years, this includes posting on each quarterly edition of the ACWA newsletter, Under the Fly and this year will include once a month posting of your business card or event information onto the Facebook page.

Memberships and Ad fees can be sent to: ACWA, PO Box 626, Belton, Texas 76513 or can be paid for here on the ACWA website by clicking on the "Membership" tab above and paying by PayPal for an additional $5.00 convenience fee.

We are asking ALL MEMBERS (Lifetime, new and renewals) to please complete a Membership form and and indicate YES or NO on ACWA releasing your contact information to other ACWA members and/or ACWA paid events. You can pull off a new membership form under the "Membership" tab and send it either via USPS to the ACWA post office box or if a LIFETIME member or paying by PayPal, you may scan and send via email to:

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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