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 (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, P.OBox 6538, Lubbock, TX 79493 or call (940) 532 1788 with credit card information. For Honorariums and Memorials, please include the name of the person remembered/honored, and address for a thank you card.

Youth & the ACWA

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 individuals each year. If interested, download an application here. Scholarship recipients for the upcoming school year are Jennifer L. Miller, of Silverton, TX, and Wyatt Wilson of Abilene, TX.


Another way to involve and educate our youth is with demonstrations. At the ACWA Championship Cook Off in April, 2017, we had over 250 youth from Fredericksburg and Hunt ISDs participate in a day long Youth Demonstration Day. There were 12 stations set up and manned by volunteers to allow the youth to see up close and personal a chuck wagon and other items associated with the chuck wago and trail drive era.


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 a donation or memorial (specify on your gift - YOUTH) so we can continue and even expand ACWA's involvement!

General Store

Want to take home some of that authentic, Old West taste and style? Now you can with ACWA Cookbooks and caps!

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

May 2018, President's Message

Well April was a busy month for many of the chuck wagon teams. The second ACWA Championship Cook Off went well considering the weather was less than desirable on Saturday, but those that braved the weather seemed to have a good time along with some great food prepared by the 11 wagon teams that were able to attend from four different states. The youth education day on Thursday was once again a great success with 245 sixth graders from Hunt and Fredericksburg ISD participating. Wayne Calk and his crew not only helped with the biscuit making, biscuit cooking, but they also prepared and served hot dogs, chips, and bottle water to the kids, teachers, chaperones, speakers and volunteers. There were ten different 20-minute stations depicting the chuck wagon, life on the trail along with some cowboy activities. There were 50-60 that came out during wagon judging on Friday and visited with the wagon teams along with visiting the vendors. On Saturday, Jack Ramey's Crosstimber crew defended their Overall Champion title, so hats off to Jack, Kevin, Todd, and Chuck.

Thanks to all the volunteers for giving of their personal time, bringing chuck wagons/equipment but most of all bearing the expense to help with this year's event. These volunteers have nothing to win but truly represent what ACWA stands for! To list all of them would take an entire article but I know if you have been involved in any event you understand the importance of the volunteers! This year's event could not have happened without them!

On Monday April 16th, Maribeth and I along with several members of the 3C Cowboy Fellowship Chuck Wagon Team took the chuck wagon that I've been working on for the last 5 months to Holland ISD. We did nine 30-minutes sessions to just over 400 students from pre-K thru 8th grade and we have been asked to do the same for several school districts next school year. This is just another way ACWA members carry out the mission statement. So, if any of you are doing this with your chuck wagon please let us know so we can put the information in the ACWA Monthly Update and/or ACWA newsletter, Under the Fly so you can be recognized. Pictures would be great as well!

On April 20th & 21st Maribeth and I attended and helped with the second chuck wagon cook off at the Wild, Wild West in Andrews, Texas. The Chamber of Commerce did a great job again this year even though several chuck wagon teams had conflicts so there were only four wagons able to make it. Friday was a little windy with 28 mph winds with gusts to 40mph. Saturday was a little better with 18 mph winds and gusts to 25mph. Moreland Wagon Shop was able to win the battle with the wind good enough to win overall.

Canadian River Renegades Chuck Wagon Cook Off was held in Logan, New Mexico on April 27-28, 2018. There were five wagons competing with the first place overall winner being Don & Marilyn Johnson's J-D Chuck Wagon Team ofAmarillo, Texas and second place overall winner was Sam Howell II's Cocklebur Camp from Odessa, Texas.

As many have heard, the ACWA Board of Directors voted at the March Board of Directors' monthly conference call to suspend sanctioning. The Board decided ACWA will focus more on the mission statement "To preserve and present 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

The Board feels some of the things ACWA can do to accomplish the mission statement and core values is to look for opportunities to increase our focus on educating youth and the general public on the role of the chuck wagon during the trail drive era. Also, ACWA would like to help competitive and non-competitive events, such as cook offs to benefit the military personnel/families and promote more gatherings/rendezvous by providing resources to assist in the preparation for an event, wagon judging and promotion of the events on the ACWA website, ACWA Facebook page, ACWA Monthly Update and the ACWA newsletter, Under the Fly.

Also you may have seen some of the old pictures of chuck wagons and their camps on the ACWA Facebook page. These pictures are being posted as an attempt to show the difference between the chuck wagon, both trail and ranch, (or as some call them round up wagons). I think the one thing the different pictures show is about the only common thing on the chuck wagons was four wheels and a chuck box. This allows you to see a wide variety of how they are equipped and also, the pictures show there wasn't a lot of extra equipment carried on the wagons. Again it is an attempt to better educate the members and wagon owners. If anyone has pictures they would like to share please let us know. Also if you have any documentation to support what was or wasn't on the majority of the wagon please share this also. ACWA is in the process of establishing a database of information to cover all aspects of the chuck wagon, wagon camps and equipment so in the future there will be a central location to go and find as much information concerning chuck wagons as possible. Just another way ACWA is working towards meeting its mission statement.

Another valuable tool to publish information and pictures is the ACWA website. Currently we are working with a website designer and hopefully on August 1st we will roll out a new website that is more user friendly.

Here are some Chuck Wagon events coming up soon. If any are close to you - come on out! To check out other months, click on the EVENTS tab above.
♦ May5,2018-Bob Drake Memorial CookOff-Breckenridge,TX - for info call
♦ May11-13,2018-Western Heritage Classic-Abilene,TX, for info call
♦ May25-26,2018-Wagons for Warriors-Lebanon,MO, NOT A COMPETITION for info contact Steve Hull at stillhangin1@gmailcom or 417-532-5319
♦ May26-27,2018-National Cowboy and Western Heritage Center Chuck Wagon Gathering and Children'sFestival- Oklahoma City, OK, NOT A COMPETITION - for info Contact Jack Ramey at or 405-834-4351
♦ June 1-3, Fort Sisseton Chuck Wagon Gathering - Lake City, SD, NOT A COMPETITION for information contact Fort Sisseton, 605-448-5474 or Cassandra Swanson, 605-359-5105
♦ June8-9,Oklahoma Championship Chuck Wagon Cook Off-Woodward,OK-RJHollon,(580)571-2060
♦ June 22-23, Western Heritage Days - Stevensville, MT -, 915-212-7476, 406-777-3773
♦ June 22-23, 2nd Annual Mid America Chuckwagon Roundup at Northeast Missouri Old Threshers Grounds - Shelbina, MO - NOT A COMPETITION - for information contact Johnny Kee at 501-288-4192 or Don Collop at 660-434-6519

New Members? If you are interested in the trail drive era along with the mystique of the chuck wagon please look around our website! If you want to become a member of this fine association, simply click on the Membership tab, fill out an application and join us!

Ronnie Sexton
2018 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 2018
The mission statement of the American Chuck Wagon Association is:
To preserve and present 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.

* *  Congratulations to Breakaway Wagon  * *

Annette & Wilbur Wilson

Wilbur and Annette Wilson won the Garnet Brooks Chuckwagon award from the Academy of Western Artists.

This year's ACWA Championship Cook Off was held at the Gillespie County Fairgrounds in Fredericksburg, Texas on Saturday, April 7, 2018.
Congratulations to all wagon crews for cooking in bitter cold to feed the brave souls that came to enjoy the great food.
Results to be posted soon.
You can find the 2017 ACWA Championship Cook Off qualifiers and results here.

* * *  Suspension of 2018 Sanctioned Cook Offs * * *  

Since the January 6, 2018, Board of Directors' Retreat, we have had discussions concerning Sanctioning and the ACWA Championship Cook Off. At the monthly ACWA Board of Directors conference call on Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the board voted to suspend Sanctioning along with the ACWA Championship Cook Off. Without the major sponsorships ACWA was lead to believe that would get onboard and help support Sanctioning and the ACWA Championship Cook Off, the Board decided it was time to focus on better assisting all chuck wagon events - youth and adult. All 2018 Sanctioned Events have been contacted. The events will continue as planned, so we ask you to support this decision along with these events.
The ACWA Championship Cook Off scheduled for April 5-7, 2018, for those that qualified in 2017 will be held.
Thanks, 2018 ACWA Board of Directors

Announcements to the ACWA Membership:

ACWA Communications Specialist, Sheryl Wailes, has resigned effective February 14, 2018. In her short tenure she brought a lot of energy and new fresh ideas to ACWA. In that time she developed ACWA procedures and timelines as well as designed the new look of the ACWA newsletter and increased communications on the ACWA Facebook page. She was always positive and willing to do whatever it took to get the job done.
Since this position is vacant, there will not be a March newsletter but monthly updates will continue.

Administrative Assistant, Nancy Sparks, has announced her plans to retire effective March 1, 2018, after 12 years of service. Nancy has been a solid driving force of the ACWA for over 12 years. Even before she was in a paid position she and Bob were the "face and voice" of ACWA to the membership. Without their service ACWA might not be here today. Over the years ACWA members have looked to Nancy for assistance, answers to their questions and guidance as it pertained to chuck wagons, cook offs and the association. Her presence will certainly be missed. On behalf of the Board and the ACWA Membership: Thank you, Nancy for your years of service and best wishes to you and Bob on your retirement.

Going Forward...
As the Board moves forward during this transition, we ask for patience and understanding from our loyal ACWA members!
Due to this transition, there will be a change of our address, phone numbers, email, etc. Once finalized this information will be put on Facebook, the website and sent to members via email and/or USPS.
Until that time, if you have any questions, please contact:
President, Ronnie Sexton at
Vice President Sam Howell,II at

February 28th Announcement:

After 20 years ACWA has a new mailing address, email address and phone number. Effective immediately:
Mailing address: P O Box 6538, Lubbock, Texas 79493
Phone: 940-532-1788
As always, thanks to all the ACWA members for their patience! If you have further questions, you may email President, Ronnie Sexton, at or Vice President, Sam Howell, at

Here's a pin map Kathy Christensen put together showing member locations.
Click on the dots to see more detail.

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

Sponsorship Wanted

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