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.
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); tax-free donations, honorariums and memorials
(We are a 501.c.3 organization);
cookbook, note card, t-shirt & 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, 1723 East Tate Street, Brownfield, TX 79316 or call Nancy Sparks at (806)215-7851 with credit card information. For Honorariums and Memorials, please include the name of the person remembered/honored, and address for a thank you card.
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 addition, the ACWA offers scholarships (read more) to selected individuals each year. If interested, download an application here. Scholarship recipients for the upcoming school year are Caleb Swanson from Canton, SD, and Chelsea Carter from Prairie Hill, TX. One of our recipients recently sent an update you may read here.
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.
First, sorry for being a few days late with this, but I'm still trying to recover from
last week and the first ACWA Championship Cook Off.
After years of members talking, discussing, planning meetings and various committees, I can now say the first ACWA Championship Cook Off is in the books!
First of all I would like to thank Wayne Calk, Dave McDowell and Bob and Nancy Sparks who had the vision and headed up the major planning committees for sanctioned cook offs! This vision was the start of sanctioning which began in 2016 giving chuck wagon teams the opportunity to qualify. There were 11 sanctioned cook offs with 29 wagons qualifying. Of the 29 qualified wagons, 13 chuck wagon teams came to the first ACWA Championship Cook Off and on April 1st over $11,000 in money/prizes were given with Jack Ramey's Crosstimber crew walking away with the coveted Overall Champion buckles.
If you were there I really think everyone was a winner! The weather was beautiful and it seemed the wagon teams, volunteers, and especially the crowd enjoyed their experience!
Thursday morning I wish everyone could have seen the 242 fourth graders unload off the buses to spend the next five hours visiting the 11 different stations set up to demonstrate the chuck wagon and the trail drive era. Wayne Calk and crew cooked hot dogs and gave out chips with a bottle of water to the hungry crowd!
On Friday we had about 100-125 come through sightseeing. Friday night we had an appreciation dinner and had several items donated with an auction conducted by Don Johnson resulting in almost $2500.00 to put into the ACWA Youth Scholarship fund! On Saturday we fed about 610 people! Seventy-one were volunteers, wagon or food judges and fifty-two of the chuck wagon teams but the rest - 487 were paying customers! In walking around the tables and asking folks - it seemed all were having a great time and said the food was great!
We learned a lot after our first event and planning is starting for the 2nd ACWA Championship Cook Off to be held at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, TX on April 5-7, 2018! I am hoping more cook offs will jump on board to be sanctioned but as of this message here are the ACWA sanctioned cook offs to quality for the 2018 championship:
Wild West Fest - Andrews TX - April 21-22
Bob Drake Memorial CW Cook Off - Breckenridge TX - May 5-6
A Painted View Cook Off - Westcliffe CO - August 19
Chandler Chuck Wagon Cook Off - Chandler, AZ - November 10-11
Once again I bring up we are fast approaching the deadline to submit applications to Brian Frankum, Chairman of the Education, Youth and Scholarship committee for the two ACWA scholarships. Last year we only had two applicants. Come on folks, we need to make Brian and his committee work harder! Let's see if we can get 8 -10 applications for this year's two scholarships!
Don't forget Wagon for Warriors, May 26-27, 2017 in Lebanon, MO. Steve Hull's goal is to have at least 35 wagons this year. Let's all pull together to help Steve meet or exceed this goal! Wagons for Warriors raises money to help wounded veterans and their families during their rehabilitation and recovery. Anyone who owns a chuck wagon needs to get involved as a way to say "THANK YOU" to those who have served our country. For more information on this event you can contact Steve Hull at www.stillhangin.com or www.wagonsforwarriors.com.
"WHEN OLD PATTERNS ARE BROKEN NEW WORLD EMERGE" - ANONYMOUS
Until next time, Happy Trails!
2017 ACWA President
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 operationwere adopted and the American Chuck Wagon Association was off and
running. Today there are members in 31 states, Canada, Germany and France.
In 2016, the original mission statement was revised and Sanctioning was approved. The revised mission statement reads as follows:
The mission statement of the American Chuck Wagon Association is to preserve the history of the Chuck Wagon Era by providing educational opportunities and events to diverse audiences of all ages while continuing to provide youth scholarships and support for wounded warriors.