National Hay Association

"Not for Self, but for All"

2021 Haymaker of the Year

Greg Braun

  Greg Braun (left) receives the award from EJ Croll, Croll Farms, Oak Harbor, OH

Every year, at the NHA Convention, we acknowledge a member that has excelled in our industry, someone with integrity, someone that hurtles challenges with innovation and plenty of hard work, and someone who has enriched our Association.

Greg Braun found his passion for forages and animal feed at a young age when he would go to work with his father who was an animal nutritionist and employed by Wilbur Ellis Company.  He graduated from Brawley Union High School in 1983 and from Cal Poly- San Louis, Obispo in 1987 with a major in Ag Business Management.

After completing college, this fellow went to work for a domestic hay broker and then moved to Long Beach to work for a hay export company.  In 1989, he started his own export company, with a small office and a small compressing facility.  The first year, Dart Marketing shipped 29,000 tons.

In 1990 Greg married Tracy, alias “Hammer”.  They have 2 children; Justin and Jenna.

This haymaker built a new pressing facility in Brawley in 1991 and soon after changed the name to Border Valley Trading and welcomed other partners.  He started feeding cattle chaff from the double compressing operation in 1996.  The partners then purchased Orita Feed Yard and changed the name to Mesquite Cattle Feeders. And in 1998, he started Greenfix, making erosion control matts from wheat straw.

Today, Border Valley Trading employs approximately 65 people and ships over 300,000 tons per year into export and domestic markets.  Mesquite Cattle Feeders has 2 feed yards, one in Brawley, California and the other in Dodge City, Kansas together employing 25 people and custom feeding 70,000 head.

“Chuck”, as he has commonly been referred to, enjoys mountain biking, and razor riding in the deserts of Mexico and the United States, and fishing in Mexico.

Greg Braun (left) receives award from EJ Croll (Croll Farms, Oak Harbor, OH)

Braun has been a leader in the hay export industry and was instrumental in starting EPC, today known as the United States Forage Export Counsel (USFEC). 

In accepting the award, Greg dedicated the honor to his Controller of 32 years, Josie Freeman, who lost her battle with pancreatic cancer and was laid to rest on September 16th

Please join us in Congratulating Greg Braun and thanking him for his service and support of the NHA!

The Haymaker of the Year Award was created and sponsored by Kemin Industries in the early 1980′s  Members were asked for nominations at the awards banquet annually.  In the early 1990′s, the NHA Board of Directors created the Haymaker Award Committee to continue the tradition.

Haymaker of the Year Award Recipients

2020-John B. Randall

2019 - Dr. Garry Lacefield

2018 - John Russell

2017 - Raymond Bricker

2016 - Mike Aeschliman
2015 – E. J. Croll
2014 – Rollie Bernth
2013 – Don Kieffer
2012 – David Fink
2011 – Ed Hall
2010 – Richard Larsen
2009 – Jeff Plourd
2008 – Tom Creech

2007 – Harlan Miller

2006 – John Terleckey

2005 – Raymond Oates
2004 – Kenneth Morrison
2003 – Ronald Adams
2002 – Stan Steffen
2001 – Charles Roff
2000 – Gary Freeburg
1999 – Eddie Eckenberg
1998 – Jerry Keegan
1997 – Kent Doke
1996 – John W. Wilson

1995 – Edward Ort
1994 – Lorne Niemann
1993 – Lloyd Eldred, Jr.
1992 – Dick Spears
1991 – Linus Vanderloop
1990 – Robert Horton
1989 – Glendon Everett
1988 – Ezra Raisch
1987 – Melvin Bryant
1986 – Neil Cousino
1985 – Ron Anderson


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