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); cap sales in our General Store (go shopping); as well as membership dues. For donations, honorariums and memorials, you may send a check or money order to:
ACWA, P.O. Box 626, Belton, TX 76513. 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 recipient for the 2021 school year is Addison Jackson from Howe, Oklahoma.

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

For upcoming events, click on the EVENTS tab.

July 2021, President's Message

Hello Folks,

I hope this message finds you doing well and that you were able to celebrate the greatest country in the world. Far from perfect, but the United States of America has provided more opportunities for more individuals to realize their dreams than any other country in the world. I know I thank God every day for being a citizen of the USA.

Thinking about opportunities, I was recently reminded about a poem that Red Stegall wrote called "Ride for the Brand." It's a poem about trust, loyalty, teamwork, and accepting the challenges that will occur as we sign on to work with other people. It's about agreeing to support and give your best efforts for the success of the outfit you have signed on with.

I know I have worked with many people who asked to cook on our wagon and some have genuinely exemplified "Riding for the Brand." But, unfortunately, some have only participated for self-gain and hopefully a buckle. Take, for example, my lovely wife, Jo Anne. She works hard and works even harder to put up with me during the stress of cooking in a competition. But she has learned how to be a treasured part of the team by looking for ways to make sure we are all successful. One way she provides this value is by giving time checks and reminders of when we should be in a particular stage of our food preparation strategy. This is not an activity within her "job description." Still, it is something that she has provided that is a massive part of our ability to get the food out to the public and judges on time. I have become dependent on this unwritten responsibility that Jo Anne provides so our team can be successful. I'm grateful to have that kind of commitment, loyalty, team player mindset, and willingness to "Ride for the Brand."

If Jo Anne decided one day to stop providing those critical reminders after we have grown dependent on them, we wouldn't be a successful team. We would miss the opportunity to give the best we have to offer as a team. Nobody wins.

The moral of the poem "Ride for the Brand" is, if you hire on to cook for someone else's wagon, cook for them as if it was your own. Work hard and look for ways to help the team and owner be successful. If you have folks cook on your wagon as part of the team, expect them to cook as if it is their own. The rest of your team deserves it. None of us can do it by ourselves.

I highly recommend getting Red Stegall's book of poems and songs called "Ride for the Brand." He provides great life lessons that, even at my age, I learn from.

"Son, a man's brand is his own special mark that says this is mine, leave it alone. You hire out to a man, ride for his brand, and protect it like it is your own." Red Stegall- Ride for the Brand

I hope you all have a great July, and I am looking forward to seeing many of you in Cheyenne.

2021 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 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............
July 2021
ACWA Award Nominations: It is time for ACWA members to submit their nominations for the ACWA Awards. The process to submit your nomination was outlined in the June 2021 ACWA Monthly Update. If you nominate someone or an event, you must complete an ACWA Award Nomination form and submit it with a short description of why this individual(s) or event should receive the award. All nominations must be submitted to the Awards Committee Chairman, Jack Ramey by September 1, 2021.
ACWA Board of Director Nominations: Each year, ACWA members elect three directors to serve a three- year term. The selection process for the Board of Directors was outlined in the June edition of Under the Fly as well as the June 2021 ACWA Monthly Update with the first deadline being submission of nominee’s names to the Nominations Committee Chairman, Russ Richins by July 20, 2021.
ACWA Annual Meeting: The 2021 ACWA Annual Meeting will be held on Friday, November 4 - Saturday, November 5, 2021, at the Radisson Hotel on 2540 Meacham Blvd. in Fort Worth, Texas. The Radisson is holding a block of rooms at a rate of $99 until October 15, 2021. You can call the Radisson at (817) 625- 9911 to reserve your room.
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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