Understanding how Angus cattle perform beyond the farm or ranch is an important component of the carcass steer contest hosted during the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS). Forty-two steers were a part of the 2018 NJAS carcass steer contest, where juniors were able to learn firsthand what ranchers are targeting when raising cattle.
This year the NJAS was hosted in Madison, Wisconsin, July 8-13. At the NJAS, many animals were checked-in, exhibited and placed. Among these contests and shows was the Carcass Steer contest. The Carcass Steer contest is unique to the NJAS due to the fact that exhibitors don’t exactly “show” these steers; they send them off for harvest, evaluation and grading following check-in. Within a matter of days, the carcass merit of these steers was reported. The top steers were announced at the NJAS awards ceremony July 12.
“The National Junior Angus Show has an incredible learning opportunity for junior members that participate in the carcass contest,” said Jaclyn Upperman, American Angus Association director of events and education. “Junior members feed and manage the steers to attempt to grade the highest quality carcass they can. This year, the numbers were up. That includes the number of entries, as well as the result numbers. We had 38 percent of the 42 entries graded Prime and 80 percent CAB; this is the best set of carcass steers harvested to date.”
Forty-two entries from 13 states competed in the carcass class at the National Junior Angus Show, confirming that the Angus legacy will continue for generations to come. This contest shows the versatility that Angus cattle have, and how they can be beneficial to any producer.
The top steers’ exhibitors were awarded contest premiums in addition to carcass premiums. In addition to prize money, contestants received carcass data back to influence future selection decisions.
The grand champion carcass steer was exhibited by Alissa Martin, Oregon, Illinois. Her steer graded low-Prime with a yield grade of 2.5. The steer had a 15.1 square inch (sq. in.) ribeye area and had a hot-carcass weight of 826.8 pounds (lb.), which allowed the steer to qualify for the Certified Angus Beef ®(CAB) brand. Martin received a $30.00 per hundredweight (cwt.) grid premium.
Alexis Vandeberghe, Cleveland, North Dakota, was awarded reserve grand champion carcass steer. Her steer graded low Prime with a yield grade of 2.5. The steer had a ribeye area of 14.8 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 817.8 lb. Her steer also qualified for CAB, and Vandeberghe was awarded $30.00 cwt. grid premium.
The grand champion bred-and-owned carcass was owned by Reagan Skow, Palisade, Nebraska. Her steer graded low Prime with a yield grade of 2.7. Her steer had a ribeye area of 12.2 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 799.0 lb. His steer qualified for CAB, and Skow was award $28.00 cwt. grid premium.
Aubrey Herbers, Lynchburg, Virginia, was awarded reserve grand champion bred-and-owned carcass steer. Her steer graded low Prime with a yield grade of 2.4. He had a ribeye area of 13.9 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 790.6 lb. Her steer qualified for CAB, and Herbers was awarded $28.00 cwt. grid premium.
State group was another aspect of the contest. Three steers were grouped together by no less than two exhibitors. Continuing their victory, Virginia won the first-place state group. The Virginia team was composed of Aubrey Herbers, Gordon Clark and Suter Clark both of Gretna.
Winning second place in the state group carcass contest was South Dakota. This team consisted of Ty and Chase Mogck, both of Olivet.