Carcass Challenge

Iowa’s beef cattle production sectors—seedstock, cow/calf, backgrounder, and feedyard, each play a key role in determining final cattle performance and carcass quality. ICA’s Carcass Challenge is an ongoing effort to demonstrate continuous industry-wide improvement within Iowa. As Iowa’s only statewide fed-beef competition, the ICA Carcass Challenge was created to:

1. Showcase Iowa’s beef cattle genetics, feedyard management, and modern technology.
2. Offer Iowa’s cattle industry a fun and competitive statewide fed-beef contest to highlight Iowa’s beef production advantages.
3. Provide leadership and learning opportunities through the ICA Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program (YCLP).
4. Generate additional non-dues ICA revenue to grow Iowa’s beef business through advocacy, leadership and education.

    Each November, steer-sponsors donate 700 lb. steer calves to compete in this prestigious Iowa fed-beef contest. Steers complete 180-200 days on feed to an average 1,400 lb., 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. In 2017, a $5,000 cash prize will be paid to the Champion Steer donor(s). Awards for outstanding individual carcass results will also be presented. Every effort is made to deliver maximum cattle efficiency, carcass value and net revenue of all steers.

    From July to October, YCLP members recruit steers for the contest. Individual ICA members, allied businesses, county associations and other entities have generously donated steers to compete for “Iowa’s Best Beef Carcass” steer honors.

2016 Final Report

2015 Final report

2014 Final report