The ACWA Board of Directors, its officers and members would like to welcome you to the online home of the American Chuck Wagon Association.
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.
Our work is funded by sponsorships (see the power point presentation shown below-right); donations, honorariums and memorials; cookbook, note card & cap sales in our General Store (go shopping), as well as membership dues.
Our youth are our future and the ACWA supports activities directly involving them. We encourage producers to offer youth
competition at their cook offs whenever possible. Many of our cooking crews include young people at the cook offs.
The Association also periodically honors an outstanding young cook with the Rookie of the Year award.
In 2012 that award went to Drake Tolbert.
In addition, the ACWA offers a scholarship (read more) to selected individuals each year. If interested, download an application here. For the 2012-2013 school year, ACWA was proud to award two scholarships. 2012-13 Scholarship Winners chosen
Another way to involve and educate our youth is with demonstrations. At one cook off, invitations were given to area schools to come on Friday. There were busloads coming and going a good portion of the day. The students were wonderful and the three host wagons enjoyed sharing their camps and telling a little about the history of the chuck wagon and the trail drives.
Want to take home some of that authentic, Old West taste and style? Now you can with ACWA Cookbooks, beautiful note cards and caps!
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.
There are a lot of things happening with the ACWA. First, if you haven?t been keeping up with the hoorahs, get togethers, or rendezvous, as they are sometimes called, I invite you to look into them and if they are in a close proximity to your location try and attend. They are so much fun because of the relaxed setting in that there isn?t any competition attached. They are also a way for ?non wagon owners? to get involved and participate in wagon and food clinics plus an occasion to cook up some of your favorite recipes. We have had one in Ft. Thomas, Arizona for the last three years and are having a Rendezvous in Bennett, Colorado, May 2-4. We are tentatively looking at September 12-14 for a Texas Gathering at the 3 Heart Ranch near Fredericksburg, Texas. We will be getting more information out on that event as it becomes available.
We recently had an ACWA meeting in Abilene, Texas to discuss the ACWA?s sanctioning of chuck wagon cook offs around the country so that the competitors,
both chuck wagon and youth, can qualify for the ACWA Championship Chuck Wagon Cook Off.
The ultimate cook off and the sanctioning has many, many days, weeks, and months of planning before we can look at who, what, when, where, and how.
Right now, we would like for our members to volunteer to help in the planning stages of the sanctioning and cook off.
At the meeting in Abilene the twenty-one members present identified thirteen different items that surfaced from nearly eighty things that were
identified as being important to the future success of the ACWA. In no particular order they are as follows:
1. Increase membership
2. Scholarships & charities
3. More informed judging (food and wagon)
4. Utilize non wagon owners
5. Young people involved
6. More funding
7. Used as educational platform
8. Help Wounded Warriors efforts(under other names as well)
9. Teach western wagon and trail drive era heritage
10. Uniform rules at all cook-offs
11. Increase awareness of ACWA
12. Support Make A Wish and like charities(Wagon Wheels for Meals On Wheels)
13. Support western museums
The Abilene group began a list of committees that will be formed to identify and hone the components necessary to carry out the sanctioning and cook off.
These committees will be report to your ACWA Board of Directors.
The committees are listed below, but certainly not limited to the following:
2. Food Judging
3. Wagon Judging
7. Championship Cook Off
8. Youth Involvement
If you have a desire and/or expertise in one of the committees and would like to become more involved with the ACWA, let our Executive Assistant, Nancy Sparks know of your wishes. We feel that this endeavor will take the better part of two years to complete and when finished we will have a true chuck wagon cook off that will be as close to a real trail drive wagon & cooking competition as possible. You can imagine that there are many questions that need to be answered and once the committees are formulated they will be given a charge in which to accomplish.
We have approximately 41 cook offs around the county so, with this being April you must surely be ready for the next competition. If you aren?t competing then try to get to a cook off in your area and learn what you can about the wagons etc. If you are already cooking without a wagon maybe you can network and find who may be interested in having someone help them cook on a wagon. There are all sorts of avenues in which to become involved. If you have some things that you are doing to help promote the chuck wagon heritage let us know so that we may pass it along. I just heard about a cooking clinic that Dave McDowell is doing out in Arizona that is specifically for youth (coosies )cookers. Doesn?t that sound good? Way to go Dave!!!
As my ole friend Jerry Baird always says?
"Circle the wagons".
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
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?
Time is drawing short for scholarship applications. Deadline is May 1. Send applications to Jim Patrick, 17358 447th Ave., Watertown, SD 57201-7629
Big THANK YOU to hosts John and Sandy Sullivan along with Randy Hawkins, Russ Richins, Dave McDowell
and the SouthWest chapter of ACWA for an incredibly fun get together. Those of us who didn't make it missed a great time.
Lizzie II at Lost Creek Farms, 45355 East 112th Ave, Bennett, CO 80102
This is being put on to have a time when we can enjoy every ones company and talk about what we all love to do
- enjoy the cowboy way of life. Everyone bring a small dessert to share and 3 favorite recipes. We can make copies here.
We have room for people to bring their campers and tents to stay at our place. You do not need to bring a wagon; we will have two wagons set up.