2021 W.D. Farr Scholarship Recipients Announced

Graduate Students Committed to Advancing Beef Industry

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Jan. 10, 2022) – Kiera Leddy, Drake University Law School, and Maci Mueller, University of California (UC) Davis, have each been awarded a $15,000 W.D. Farr Scholarship by the National Cattlemen’s Foundation (NCF). The annual W.D. Farr Scholarship program, established by NCF in 2007, recognizes outstanding graduate students who plan to pursue careers furthering the beef industry.

Leddy and Mueller were selected from 32 applicants based on their academic achievements, leadership and commitment to the advancement of the beef industry. They will be recognized during the 2022 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA Trade Show, Feb. 1-3, in Houston, Texas.

Leddy graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural communications and is pursuing a Juris Doctorate at Drake University Law School in Des Moines, Iowa. Originally from Stockholm, S.D., she is a fifth-generation rancher helping her family raise Charolais cattle.

Upon graduation, Leddy will return home to South Dakota to help farmers and ranchers navigate the regulatory and statutory framework surrounding wetlands, permits, zoning, and land use as well as estate and business planning. Her personal experience growing up on a multi-generational farm guided Leddy toward a career in law and communications. She plans to give producers a voice and help ensure their farmland remains in the family for generations to come.

Mueller has been an integral part of the growth and success of her family’s first-generation seedstock operation, Lienetics Angus Ranch, in Princeton, Neb. She received her bachelor’s degree in animal science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and also earned a master’s degree in animal breeding and genetics from UC Davis. Currently, she is pursuing her doctorate in animal breeding and genetics at UC Davis. Her first-hand production experience was instrumental in developing her career goal to become a beef cattle geneticist.

Mueller is passionate about providing research and education to make the latest advancements in genetics and reproduction applicable to beef cattle producers. Her ultimate career goal is to use her knowledge and skills to enhance beef production efficiency through genetics.

The scholarship honors the successful career of the late W.D. Farr. Farr, a third-generation Coloradan, pioneer rancher, statesman and banker was known for his extraordinary vision. His dedication to improving agriculture, livestock and water development resulted in significant changes in farming methods that have influenced the practices of ranchers and farmers throughout the nation. Farr was the first president of the NCF and served as president of the American National Cattlemen’s Association, which later became the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA). Farr died at age 97 in August 2007.

The NCF advances the future of the beef industry by assisting in the education of the next generation of beef industry professionals. For more information about NCF and the W.D. Farr Scholarship, visit


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