Ames, Iowa — The 5th annual Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) Carcass Challenge is off to a good start. A total of 55 steers, donated by cattlemen and friends of the industry across the state, have been delivered to Amana Farms. Several of those donors are from our part of northwest Iowa.
The steers were vaccinated with booster vaccines, retagged and weighed. The carcass challenge steers will be allowed a two week warm-up to help remove the shrink factor from the haul to the feedyard and allow the steers time to acclimate to the new feed ration and environment. Official on-test weights and carcass ultrasounds will be taken on Wednesday, November 25, 2015.
All steers will be ranked in two categories: efficiency and carcass quality. Steers will be ranked on the “Retail Value per Days on Feed” category which scores the steers on their profitability in the feedyard based on carcass characteristics and feed conversion. The “Carcass Merit” category ranks steers solely on grid price per pound, with discount allowances for small ribeye areas, low average daily gain, and excessive trimming. The top five in each category receives an award and recognition during the awards banquet.
In addition, individual awards will be given to the steers with the highest Average Daily Gain, largest Rib Eye Area, the top marbling score, and the chef award, which is for a 12-14” ribeye with the highest marbling score.
The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association says the proceeds from the generous donations help drive educational and leadership opportunities for ICA members, such as the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program and ICA feedlot and cow-calf forums.
Northwest Iowa donors include 360 Cattle & Evan Vermeer of Sioux Center, Brad Kooima of Rock Valley, the Clay County Cattlemen, Kent and Sylvia Pruisman & Steve and Trent Rehder of Hawarden, Northwest Bank of Sioux Center, the Sioux & Lyon County Cattlemen, Sioux Center Veterinary Clinic, and Van Zee Feeder Cattle of Sioux Center. There were 47 donors from other parts of the state.