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Serving: IA
Byron and Carolyn Kelchen (Custom Precast) and cattle breeder Jason Kurt Courtesy of ICA
GRAND CHAMPION: Accepting first place in the 2020 ICA Carcass Challenge are Byron and Carolyn Kelchen of Custom Precast, and cattle breeder Jason Kurt.

ICA Carcass Challenge names contest winners

Iowa Cattlemen’s Association’s annual competition demonstrates improvement in beef production.

2020 has been a difficult time for producers feeding and marketing cattle in Iowa and across the country. The Iowa Cattlemen's Association Carcass Challenge was not immune. Like many other events held this year, the ICA Carcass Challenge award ceremony was delayed because of COVID-19. 

The Carcass Challenge is an ongoing effort to demonstrate continuous industrywide improvement in Iowa beef production. As Iowa’s only statewide fed-beef competition, the ICA Carcass Challenge was created to: 

  • showcase Iowa’s beef cattle genetics, feedyard management and modern technology
  • offer Iowa’s cattle industry a fun and competitive statewide fed-beef contest to highlight Iowa’s beef production advantages 
  • provide leadership and learning opportunities through the ICA Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program (YCLP) 
  • generate additional non-dues ICA revenue to grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.

Feedyard performance

Each November, steer sponsors donate 700-pound steer calves to compete in this fed-beef contest. Steers complete 180 to 200 days on feed to an average 1,400-pound, market-ready end point. Cash prizes and special awards are presented to contributors of the top 10% of individual steers based on the “Retail Value per Day on Feed,” recognizing both feedyard performance and end carcass merit.

A $5,000 cash prize is paid to the champion steer donor. Awards for outstanding individual carcass results are also be presented. Every effort is made to deliver maximum cattle efficiency, carcass value and net revenue of all steers.

This year, more than 130 different producers, businesses, association and county cattlemen’s groups donated 74 steers to go on feed at Lauritsen Cattle Co. at Exira in western Iowa.

“Starting in March, the challenges faced within the packing industry led us to adjust the management of the steers somewhat,” says Katie Olthoff, ICA’s director of communications. “Thank you to our sponsors, Tim Meyer at Producers Livestock and David Trowbridge at Gregory Feedlot, for their cattle feeding insight to help Ty and Clara and Lauritsen Cattle Co. know how to best manage this situation. Elanco, the headline sponsor of the program, worked alongside the Lauritsens to help manage the animal health and performance solutions.”

Other program sponsors included Isaiah Shnurman with Square B Ranch, the CUP Lab, Thielen Trucking, Gregory Feedlots, and the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity. “The program would not have been successful without all of these gracious sponsorships,” Olthoff says.

Calculating carcass value gained

Each year ICA recognizes the top 10% of the steers for the Retail Value Per Day on Feed category, in addition to four other awards that are factors that help drive profitability in the feedlot. The grand prize for the Champion Retail Value Per Day on Feed is $5,000 and a large traveling trophy.

The RVDoF formula is a dollar value that accounts for hot carcass weight, percent retail product, carcass price and days on feed, balancing important factors that ultimately drive profitability. The RVDoF formula is a popular method used by similar carcass contests and highly represents the profitability of a carcass.

The formula calculates the carcass value gained during the feeding period. This is done by calculating red meat yield gain, multiplied by a carcass price that reflects differences and quality grade, divided by the days on feed.

The Chef’s Choice Award is a combination of the largest ribeye between 12 to 14 square inches and the highest marbling score. 

2020 winners

This year’s Iowa beef contest winners follow:

Retail Value Per Day on Feed. First place (Grand Champion) at $7.25 value per day was a steer donated by Custom Precast and bred by Jason Kurt of Cascade.

In second place at $6.99 value per day was a steer donated by Heartland Simmental, D&R Feeds and Humeston Livestock. It was bred by Heartland Simmental.

In third place at $6.96 value per day was a steer donated by Lubben White Oak Farms, Devinish Feeds and Citizens State Bank. It was bred by Lubben White Oak Farms.

In fourth place at $6.90 value per day was a steer donated by the Ida County Cattlemen and bred by Mason Fleenor.

In fifth place at $6.79 value per day was a steer donated and bred by Johnson Family Farm.

In sixth place at $6.78 value per day was a steer donated by Riverview Trucking and bred by Dan Nelsen.

In seventh place at $6.77 value per day was a steer donated and bred by Walter Family Stock Farm.

Largest Ribeye. This steer was donated by Walter Family Stock Farm; bred by Walter Family Stock Farm. The REA was 18.29 square inches.

Highest Marbling. This steer was donated by Scott Hansen/Hansen Cattle Co. and Dallas County Cattlemen; bred by Scott Hansen. Marbling score was 920, high prime.

Chef's Choice. Steer was donated by Emmet County Cattlemen and bred by Dan Nelsen. This steer had a REA of 15.67 square inches, high choice.

Highest Average Daily Gain. Donated by Lubben White Oak Farms and Monticello Vet Clinic, this steer was bred by Lubben. It had an average daily gain of 6.12 pounds per day.

Source: Iowa Cattlemen’s Association, which is solely responsible for information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


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