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 the future and ACWA supports activities directly involving the youth. We encourage event coordinators to offer a youth competition at their cook offs whenever possible. If your organization would like to request up to $150 and other ACWA suplies for the event's youth cook off, please complete this form and submit it via email to Brian Frankum - or send via mail to P O Box 85, Axtell, Texas 76624.

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, 2018, we had over 245 6th graders from Fredericksburg and Hunt ISDs participate in a day long Youth Demonstration Day. There were 10 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 wagon and trail drive era. If you or your organization has hosted a chuck wagon demonstration, please send the information and pictures to so your event can be featured in the next edition of the ACWA 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 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

December 2018, President's Message

It is an honor to be your next President. I appreciate the votes and look forward to the next year. As I transition from Vice President to President, I must do a little house keeping.

For the past three years, as the ACWA Vice President I was responsible for setting up and hosting the ACWA Annual Meetings. I want to thank Jack Ramey for his help on the one in Yukon, Oklahoma, Bobbie Thornberry for her help on the one in Clarendon, Texas and Johnny Kee for his help on this year's annual meeting held in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Without the help of each of you our annual meetings would not have been such a success!

As your incoming President, I look forward to growing ACWA. We must work diligently on youth cookoffs as well as working with young couples in order to grow our organization. I would like to see some new events geared toward the chuck wagon teams with jobs and cannot take off a Thursday thru Sunday. Maybe some events could have the chuck wagon judging on Saturday morning and have the teams prepare a Saturday evening meal. This would allow a team to arrive on Friday evening and be setup for Saturday.

Unless we as an organization can find ways for young couples to participate, we will grow old and die. I started cooking 21 years ago and some events had 40 plus wagon and now many have 10 or less. We as group must address this. This is not something the Board can solve it is something that ALL of us working together can solve. So, let us put our collective heads together and find a solution! I promise you I will be looking for new events and will encourage them to look at modifying what has been the traditional chuck wagon event's schedule and I hope you will as well.

Once again thank you for your support. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can during the next year.

Hope to see you down the trail!

Sam Howell II
2019 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.

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

ACWA 2019 Membership Renewal Time!

There are many benefits to continuing your membership or joining ACWA. Just two are the gift of two college/technical school $1000/scholarships each year and $150, lapel pins, ribbons and bandanas for each youth cook off!

So, keep your support coming! Annual renewal is the same as last year's amounts. $25* individual; $40* for a Couple and $100* for a business or organization; $500* Lifetime. *International members need to add $5.00 for additional processing and postage costs.

Please send your check or cashier's check to ACWA, PO Box 6538, Lubbock, Texas 79493. Click on the "Membership" tab above to pay your dues using the ACWA secure PayPal account (includes a small service fee).

If you need to change any of your contact information, please complete a new membership form found on the "Membership" tab and send it in with your payment.

Thanks for your continued support in 2019 of the American Chuck Wagon Association!

Read the latest by-laws here.

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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