For the first time in 25 years, a statewide carcass contest for cattle producers will be held in Iowa.
The Iowa Cattlemen's Association will sponsor the ICA Carcass Challenge that begins this fall and ends next spring. "Whether you are a cow-calf producer, backgrounder, or run a feed yard, the bottom line in beef cattle production is the value of the meat on the carcass. Each step in the value-chain affects the end product," says Kellie Carolan, ICA's seedstock manager.
Carolan will oversee the ICA Carcass Challenge, which is being led by the 2011 class of ICA's Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program. The project will give these young leaders an opportunity to work with area ICA members on an educational project.
Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program is recruiting steers for contest
"The Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program class decided we would take on the challenge of recruiting steers for the ICA Carcass Challenge. We are doing this because it will give us the opportunity to meet more members of our local cattlemen's groups, and provide a real service to ICA," says Dana Morgan of Corning, one of the co-chairs for the challenge.
"I've been looking for a way to become more involved locally, and this should help. Plus, as a cow-calf producer, it helps me see the rest of the value chain in beef production," adds Stephanie Allgood of Albia, the other co-chair.
Morgan and Allgood expect to see some friendly competition between counties, businesses and individuals who are ready "to go big or go home."
Steers donated by ICA members will be in head-to-head competition
The ICA Carcass Challenge will place steers donated by ICA members in a head-to-head competition to see which donor will walk away with the $2,000 top prize for the steer that has the best Carcass Value per Day on Feed. That determination will be made next spring at slaughter. The second and third place finishers will receive $1,500 and $1,000. The remaining Top 10 finishers will receive a jacket.
Producers who want to compete will donate one or more steers for the contest. Steers must be 2011 spring-born calves that weigh between 625 pounds and 700 pounds when they are delivered to Van Meter Feedyard in Guthrie Center on Nov. 7 or Nov. 8 of this year.
In addition to the spirit of competition created by the ICA Carcass Challenge, there will also be an educational event held in the spring at the feedyard to discuss marketing and the traits and practices that impact carcass quality.
An educational event that will strengthen ICA membership programs
"Those who donate steers will experience a fun and educational event, and gross profit from the event will cover expenses, with the net applied to the ICA general fund. Those dollars will strengthen ICA through membership programs and leadership development," says ICA president Ross Havens of Wiota.
Havens also thanked Elanco Animal Health, which is the lead supporter of the ICA Carcass Challenge. "Elanco's willingness to step up and cooperate with ICA and the young leaders on this project demonstrates that company's support of educational opportunities for Iowa's cattle producers," he says.
Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program members have already begun recruiting steers, and will need a commitment from interested participants by September 1, 2011. Steers can be donated by individuals, county cattlemen's associations, breed associations, and any business that would like to be involved. Details and general guidelines about the contest are on the ICA website http://iacattlemen.org/carcasschallenge.aspx, or call the ICA offices in Ames at 515-296-2266 for more information.
About the Iowa Cattlemen's Association: The Iowa Cattlemen's Association represents about 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."
About Elanco: Elanco is a global innovation-driven company developing and marketing products to improve animal health and food animal production in over 75 countries. Elanco employs 2,400 people worldwide, with offices in more than 40 countries. Elanco is a division of Eli Lilly and Company, a leading global pharmaceutical corporation. Information about Elanco is at www.elanco.com.