Sign up for ICA Carcass Challenge by Oct. 1

The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association is on the hunt for 2016 ICA Carcass Challenge entries. The Carcass Challenge, now in its fifth year, is an ICA sponsored contest that provides Iowa cattlemen the opportunity to test the genetic performance of their feeder cattle. Proceeds generated from feeding Carcass Challenge steers help drive educational and leadership opportunities for ICA members, such as the Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Program and ICA feedlot and cow-calf forums.
All steers are ranked in two categories: efficiency and carcass quality. Carcass Challenge steer donors receive steer progress reports and data analysis throughout the feeding period. Steers are 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 receive 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.
Every Iowa cattle sector – seedstock, commercial cow-calf, backgrounder, and feedyard – plays a role in carcass quality. The ICA Carcass Challenge continually exemplifies the state’s strength when it comes to cattle industry profitability and potential using Iowa genetics and feedyard management.
Right now, Iowa is well-positioned to successfully grow the beef business in the state. ICA’s Carcass Challenge is part of the effort.
Commitment forms for the contest must be received by October 1. Steers must be 2015 spring-born calves that weigh between 650 and 750 pounds on delivery, which will be November 3 and 4. Steers must have received all their mandatory vaccinations, and be weaned for at least 21 days.
Steers can be donated by individuals, county cattlemen’s associations, breed associations, and any business that would like to be involved. Details and the general guidelines about the contest are on the ICA website or call the ICA office at 515-296-2266.