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 & 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 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. Scholarship recipients for the upcoming school year are Clell Swanson, Canton, SD, and Ty Robertson, Granbury, TX.
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.
Nominations are now open for the 2014 Academy of Western Artists (AWA) Garnet Brooks Chuckwagon Award.. It can go to an individual, cooking team, maker, repairer, promoter, etc., or someone who just works to promote the chuckwagon and its world in a positive manner. Send resumes, recommendations, etc. to firstname.lastname@example.org. It can be a wagon, wagon maker, individual, anyone involved with chuck wagons who has worked to promote the wagons to the public, their standing withing their peer community, etc. Deadline for nominations is December 29. The award will be the last weekend in March, 2015, at the Sheraton Hotel in Irving, TX. There will also be a small trade and exposition before the award and lots of good entertainment, food, and drinks.
Things are looking up for the ACWA this year. As I have said in the past, the ACWA is undertaking the task of establishing specific judging criteria for the various chuck wagon competitions that are held across the country. We had our annual meeting in November and the participants gave the board of directors a vote of confidence to continue what we have started. To date, the Sanctioning Committee has agreed upon a basic formula that will allow local cook off venues latitude while adhering to a set of common rules that will add consistency and continuity to all chuck wagon cook offs. These fundamental rules will be further tweaked when food and wagon judging committees have progressed sufficiently.
This task of sanctioning chuck wagon events is extrememly complex with many opinions that must be heard before compiling a workable document. We have not set a date for this to be finished so we are not under a "deadline." There are many individuals working on the various committees who have a certain expertise. The committee members are comprised of wagon owners/competitors, non-wagon owners, event organizers, wagon builders, food judges (from other major competitions), ACWA board members and people with experience in public relation and solicitation of corporate sponsors.
We still need to work on developing an educational program that will perpetuate the chuck wagon as an integral part of our western heritage. If you want to get involved contact one of the board of directors and let him/her know of your desire to help.
A new initiative, supported by the ACWA is Cowboys for Heroes which is a group of chuck wagon aficionados who get together each year to honor our wounded warriors and their families. This is not a public function and is not advertised other that through military newsletters. This year will be the tenth year of the program's existence and we will have approximately 25 chuck wagons feeding an expected crowd of over 6000 military warriors and their families.
The ACWA strives to preserve and promote the history and culture of the Chuck Wagon Era in the Great American West using the chuck wagon as the nucleus. You can become a part of that preservation, so look around on our website and see how you might be able to fit in and consider joining our American Chuck Wagon Association.Wayne Calk
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
Jorg Sachse from France sent us this in an email:
"I like cooking stews,with wild roan(editors note - boar), rooster or lamb. I tried sowbelly beans but french people doesn't like beans. I also like baking, specially blueberry cobbler and rhubarb pie. this year, I had some opportunities to cook for little people, also for a wedding, and I use the chuckwagon also for teaching young people how cowboys where living and cooking, in schools or holiday camps."
Here are a couple of pictures from him.
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.
Thank you to Rex and Sheryl Wailes for all your hard work and a terrific time at the Rendezvous for the SW Region of the ACWA held in Bennett, CO. Next years event is already in the planning stages for Cortez, CO. Hope to see you there.
The Fredericksburg Gathering was a bit wet but a good time seeing friends.