Cattle producers who want to understand more about cattle production issues that impact meat quality are encouraged to attend the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association Carcass Challenge educational event on Wednesday, Jan. 29 in Ames.
The event is being held at the mid-point of the ICA Carcass Challenge, which involves 68 steers donated by cattle producers from around the state. This statewide carcass contest for cattle producers will compare the steers across a variety of measurements that include gain, quality and value calculations.
The meeting begins at 10 a.m. at the Iowa Beef Industry Headquarters at 2055 Ironwood Ct. in Ames. Gary Felger, a technical manager for Igenity/GeneSeek, will talk about the use of genetic profiles for cow-calf producers to make decisions on breeding stock and how you can benchmark your herd to others. He will use genetic data collected from the Carcass Challenge Steers for the discussion.
On the feedyard side, a technical consultant from Elanco will also talk about their Midwest benchmark data and how it relates to profitability.
After lunch, the group will go the Iowa State University Meat Lab to talk about beef quality, grades for both quality and yield, specialty processed beef products, beef safety, new retail cuts, and a tour of the meat lab. Dr. Joe Cordray, animal science professor, will lead the discussion on these topics. The educational event will end at 3 p.m.
Registration to ensure a meal is due by noon on Tuesday, Jan. 28. Call 515-296-2266, or email Dianne@iabeef.org with your registration.
Carcass Challenge steers were delivered to the Van Meter Feedyards near Guthrie Center in early November, and are expected to go to market in late April or May. Five awards will be given to those steers that demonstrate the highest quality at a moderate cost of production. This is called the Retail Value per Days on Feed (RVDoF). There will be also be awards for the top five Carcass Merit steers, which will be ranked based on grid price per pound, with allowances for discounts for small ribeye areas (REA), low average daily gain (ADG), and excessive trimming.
The prizes for the top five in the RVDoF and Carcass Merit competitions will receive $750 for 1st, $500 for 2nd and $250 for 3rd through 5th. Steers will compete in both competitions, so they may win more than one award. Additional prizes of $250 each will be given to the steers with the
highest ADG, largest REA, the top marbling score, and the chef award, which is for a 12-14-inch ribeye with the highest marbling score.
This is the third year the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association has held the Carcass Challenge. The event sponsor is Elanco Animal Health. Members of the 2013 Young Cattlemen’s Leadership Class were responsible for recruiting the steers, and grew the 2014 program by more than a third.