Steers in ICA Carcass Challenge making steady progress
The 47 steers that Iowa cattle producers entered in the Iowa Cattlemen's Association Carcass Challenge are making steady progress, recording weight increases of nearly six percent during the first few weeks of the competition.
This is the second year of the ICA Carcass Challenge, which is a statewide carcass contest for cattle producers. When the idea launched in 2011-2012, it was the first time such a contest had been held in Iowa in 25 years. The steers in the contest are compared using a calculated value called Retail Value per Days on Feed or RVDoF. Basically, RVDoF selects for high-quality meat and total pounds of meat in the days on feed.
The steers were delivered to the participating feedyard in November, and were weighed after two-and-a-half weeks to track their progress. The average delivery weight of the steers was 681 pounds, and they averaged 727 pounds at the weigh-in.
"Genetics, feed regimen and technology all play a part in producing quality and plentiful beef during the six-month feeding period," says Kellie Carolan, ICA's seedstock manager. That's especially important now as the U.S. cattle industry enters a period of a smaller cattle supply. Iowa State University Extension Economist Lee Schulz says cattle slaughter numbers will drop four to six percent this year.
Those who have donated a steer to the competition include: Accu-Steel Inc., Templeton; Adams County Cattlemen, Corning; Albright/Black Farms, Somers; Bill & Tim Couser/Gene Rouse/Jeff Longnecker, Nevada; Bob, Andrew and Ben Butcher, Holstein; Brad Z Ranch, Guthrie Center; Butler County Cattlemen, Bristow; CLAN Farms, Atlantic; Clay County Cattlemen, Spencer; Crawford County Cattlemen, Denison; and Da Es Ro Angus Farms LLC, Columbus Junction.
Also, Dallas County Cattlemen Directors, Minburn; Dallmeyer Farms, Wellman; Dan Cook, New Providence; Des Moines County Cattlemen, Mediapolis; Des Moines Area Community College Agribusiness, Ankeny; Eastern Iowa Cattle/MANCO Farms, Luxemburg; Emmet County Cattlemen, Dolliver; Farm & Family Vet Clinic, Marengo; Hansen Cattle Co., Adel; Henry County Cattlemen, Winfield; and Holden's Maines & More/Greene Co. Cattlemen, Scranton.
Additional donors are YCLP Class of 2012, Stockport; Johnson Family Farms, Maquoketa; Jones/Dubuque/Delaware County Cattlemen, Cascade; Kelly Cunningham, Lewis; Kenneth Blomme and P&L Grindling of Victor, Ladora; Kent and Sylvia Pruismann, Rock Valley; Kossuth County Cattlemen, Algona; Lee County Cattlemen, Bonaparte; Lyon and Sioux County Cattlemen, Hawarden; Mahaska County Cattlemen, What Cheer; and Marcel and Susie Sebetka, Norway.
Finally, Mason Fleenor Family/Hawkeye Breeders, Ida Grove; Miller Farms, Winfield; Mills-Montgomery Cattlemen, Stanton; Mosher Angus-Hibbs Farms, Conrad; Nodaway Valley Feeders, Nodaway; Polk County Cattlemen, Mitchellville; QLF/VitaFerm Mineral/Innovative Ag Services Co-op/River Valley Co-op, Belle Plaine; Riverview Trucking-Tony and Josh Brown, Armstrong; Sac County Cattlemen, Odebolt; Steele Land & Livestock, Anita; Sterling Cattle Partners, Northwood; Steve and Trent Rehder, Hawarden; Story County Cattlemen/Sonny Moore/Andy Moser/Frank Beavers, Colo; and Taylor County Cattlemen, Bedford.
The Carcass Challenge is organized by ICA's Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program as "an educational effort to stress that each step in the value-chain affects the end product," Carolan says.
The contributors of the three top steers will receive cash prizes, and donors of the top ten steers will be presented with jackets noting their participation. Elanco Animal Health is the major sponsor for the ICA Carcass Challenge program. Other supporters include Merial and Boehringer Ingelheim.
The Iowa Cattlemen's Association represents more than 9,500 beef-producing families and associated companies dedicated to the future of Iowa's beef industry. ICA's mission is "Grow Iowa's beef business through advocacy, leadership and education."