Fed Cattle Performance Evaluation

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. 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.

2021 Carcass Challenge Donors

  • 360 Cattle Company Inc./Evan Vermeer
  • Adair County Cattlemen
  • Adams County Cattlemen
  • American State Bank
  • Audubon County Cattlemen
  • Blackford Ranch LLC, Nate & Jessica Blackford
  • Brad Balsley/Bob Noble
  • Brad Hayes/Rueters Equipment
  • Brad Kooima
  • Brandon Reynolds/Summit Veterinary Services/Russell Livestock/Warren County Cattlemen
  • Bruce & Peyton River/Cobett Waterers 
  • Butler County Cattlemen
  • Carroll County Cattlemen
  • Cedar, Muscatine & Scott County Cattlemen
  • Central Vet/Northwest Bank
  • Cerro Gordo & Franklin County Cattlemen
  • Cherokee County Cattlemen
  • Chickasaw County Cattlemen
  • Clay County Cattlemen
  • Clayton, Fayette, & Winneshiek County Cattlemen
  • Clinton County Cattlemen/River Valley Coop/Wyffels Hybrids/Loren Truelson
  • Collison Veterinary Service/Lytton Farm Equipment
  • Coon River Farms Inc./Green Auction Co.
  • Crawford County Cattlemen
  • Custom Precast
  • Dallas County Cattlemen
  • Decatur County Cattlemen/Ajai Mendenhall
  • Deluxe Animal Health/Rod VanderVeen
  • Denison Livestock Auction/Alex Dorale
  • DMACC Agribusiness
  • Dan Nelsen/Gary Eckelberg - Ralco Nutrition
  • Don Friedrichsen Family
  • Dunlap LIvestock Auction
  • Dustin Balsley/Dustin Noble
  • Emmet County Cattlemen

  • Farmers Coop Society/Jared Terpstra/Cole Greiman/Vern Oostra
  • Greene County Cattlemen/Mike Holden 
  • Hawkeye Breeders/Mason Fleenor
  • Heartland Simmentals/Humeston Livestock Exchange/DNR Feeds
  • Hull Coop/Bomgaars Feedlot/KTR Feedlot
  • Ida County Cattlemen
  • Innovative Ag Services/River Valley Coop
  • Iowa County Cattlemen
  • Iowa Cattle Marketing Co-op - Mike Schwarck/Jake Koeings
  • Jackson County Cattlemen/Risius Family Veterinary Services/Grant Beeler
  • Jasper & Marion County Cattlemen/JVM Cattle Company
  • Johnson Family Farms
  • Kennedy Cattle Company/Larsen Angus
  • Longinaker Farms/Bills Volume Sales
  • Lubben White Oak Farms
  • Madison County Cattlemen
  • Manco Farms/Animat
  • Mills-Montgomery County Cattlemen/Doug Borkowski
  • Mineral Creek Cattle/Steve Streets & Sons
  • Mitchell County Cattlemen
  • Mosher Angus/Lauritsen Cattle Company/Mark Segebart
  • O’Brien County Cattlemen
  • Pine View Farms LLC
  • Polk County Cattlemen
  • Producers Livestock Marketing Association
  • Renew Ag
  • Riverview Trucking/Riverview Feedyard
  • Robert L. Cooley Livestock
  • Ruby Cattle Company/Iowa Simmental Association
  • Schooley Cattle/Bloomfield Livestock Market
  • Sioux & Lyon County Cattlemen
  • Spring Valley Ranch/Farmers Union Coop
  • Sterling Cattle/Pixley Family/Iowa Simmental Association
  • Steve & Trent Rehder/Kent & Sylvia Pruismann
  • Tim & Sandy Meyer
  • Walter Family Stock Farm
  • White Gate Cattle Company/Auburn Feed Center
  • Woodhill Farms/Cherne Angus/Hosch Farms
  • Worth County Cattlemen

2020 Carcass Challenge Donors

  • Carroll County Cattlemen
  • John Shuler/Nodaway Valley Feeders
  • Gannon Angus/Jasper County Cattlemen/Marion County Cattlemen
  • Holden Maines & More/Greene County Cattlemen
  • Voss Angus
  • Clarke County Cattlemen/DLR Farm - Dan & Leslie Rinner
  • Madison County Cattlemen
  • Decatur County Cattlemen
  • Massena Livestock Auction
  • DMACC Agribusiness
  • Mills-Montgomery County Cattlemen
  • Polk County Cattlemen
  • Alex Dorale/Elanco/First Coop/Audubon County Cattlemen
  • Rueters Equipment/Hyundai
  • White Gate Cattle Co./Auburn Feed Center
  • Longinaker Farms/Fremont County Cattlemen
  • Collison Veterinary Service/Lytton Farm Equipment
  • Eric Franje/Mahaska County Cattlemen
  • Reynolds Farms/Cobett Waterers (Jean Winebrenner)
  • Bills Volume Sales/United Bank of Iowa/Lauritsen Cattle Company
  • Renew Ag
  • Advanced Beef Genetics
  • Dunlap Livestock Auction
  • Dean & Sharon Staley Family/Crawford County Cattlemen
  • Dallas County Cattlemen/Scott HansenAdams County Cattlemen
  • Brett & Jed Terhaar/Will Griffin/Steve Hansen/Steve Thompson
  • Walter Family Stock Farm/Fremont County Cattlemen
  • Heartland Simmental/D&R Feeds/Humeston LIvestock
  • Garver’s Animal Health Center of Albia/Iowa Simmental Association/Scottland Genetics
  • Clayton, Winneshiek, Fayette County Cattlemen
  • Production Angus Associates - Dan Cook
  • Brad Balsley/Bob Noble
  • Pixley Family Simmental/Sterling Cattle Co./Iowa Simmental Association
  • Randy Lehman/RL Fleckvieh/Limerock Ranch
  • Hosteng Family Farm
  • Converse Cattle - Kevin & Sara Converse
  • Worth County Cattlemen/Iowa Simmental Association

  • Butler County Cattlemen/Ben Lovrein
  • Mitchell County Cattlemen/Randy Sprung
  • Rob Medberry/Jim Mosher
  • Lubben White Oak Farms
  • Linn County Cattlemen
  • Johnson Family Farm
  • Pine View Farms LLC/Tri-Vet Associates
  • Custom Precast
  • Loren Truelson/Risius Family Vet Services/Wyffels Hybrids/Clinton County Cattlemen
  • Marcel & Susie Sebetka
  • Bruce & Peyton River
  • Innovative Ag Service/River Valley
  • Mosher Angus
  • Muscatine, Scott & Cedar County Cattlemen
  • Beringer Family Farms
  • Issac Sutton
  • Mineral Creek Cattle/Streets & Sons Bull Sales
  • AMVC Veterinary Services/American Maine-Anjou Association/Iowa Maine-Anjou Association
  • Brad Kooima
  • Bob Butcher
  • Deluxe Animal Health/Roger & Rod VanderVeen
  • Lyon & Sioux County Cattlemen
  • Austin Peterson
  • Animal Medical Centers
  • The ACRE Co.
  • Don Friedrichsen Family/First Coop/Elanco
  • Cooperative Farmers Elevator
  • Riverview Trucking
  • Kent & Sylvia Pruismann/Steve & Trent Rehder
  • Ida County Cattlemen
  • Emmet County Cattlemen
  • Cooperative Farmers Elevator/Elanco/Purina
  • Coon River Gate Company/Green County Auction
  • Producers Livestock/Steve Meyer
  • American State Bank
  • Cascade Livestock Auction
  • Kennedy Cattle. Co
  • B&B Farm Store
  • Herdbuilder

2020 Results

Steer Details:

Steers 1-20       Steers 21-40       Steers 41-60      Steers 61-74

2020 Grand Champion

Bred by Jason Kurt, Cascade

1st place - Retail Value per Day on Feed

Steer #49  |  $7.25 value/day |  Donated by Custom Precast 

2nd Place

Retail Value Per Day on Feed

Steer #30 
$6.99 value/day 
Donated by Heartland Simmental, D&R Feeds and Humeston Livestock
Bred by Heartland Simmental

3rd Place

Retail Value Per Day on Feed

Steer #46 $6.96 value/day 
Donated by Lubben White Oak Farms, Devinish Feeds and Citizens State Bank 
Bred by Lubben White Oak Farms

4th Place

Steer #69  
$6.90 value/day 
Donated by the Ida County Cattlemen 
Bred by Mason Fleenor

5th Place

Retail Value Per Day on Feed

Steer #47  
$6.79 value/day 
Donated and bred by Johnson Family Farm

6th Place

Retail Value Per Day on Feed

Steer #67 
Donated by Riverview Trucking 
$6.78 value/day 
Bred by Dan Nelsen

7th Place

Retail Value Per Day on Feed 

Steer #29 
$6.77 value/day 
Donated and bred by Walter Family Stock Farm

Largest Ribeye

Steer #29

Donated by Walter Family Stock Farm and Fremont County Cattlemen

Bred by Walter Family Stock Farm

REA 18.29 sq. in.

Highest Marbling

Steer #26

Donated by Scott Hansen/Hansen Cattle Company and Dallas County Cattlemen

Bred by Scott Hansen/Hansen Cattle Company

Marbling score of 920, High Prime

Chef's Choice

Steer #70 

Donated by Emmet County Cattlemen 

Bred by Dan Nelsen 

REA 15.67 sq. in., 

High Choice

Highest Average Daily Gain

Steer #44

Donated by Lubben White Oak Farms and Monticello Vet Clinic

Bred by Lubben White Oak Farms

ADG 6.12 lbs./day

Carcass Challenge History

Donor Requirements

  • Must be a 2021 member of ICA.
  • Enter steer(s) on the ICA commitment form by Oct. 1, 2020.
  • Deliver steer(s) to the ICA-designated feedyard or to a designated steer pick-up location on Nov. 3, 2020 and transfer ownership to ICA.
  • Obtain a veterinarian-signed Iowa Certificate of Health, to accompany steer(s) at delivery.
  • Complete delivery information sheet to accompany the steer at delivery.

Steer Requirements

  • Spring-born 2020 steer calves weighing 650-750 lbs. No dairy breed-type cattle.
  • Received all mandatory, pre-delivery vaccinations by Oct. 2, 2020.
  • Any steer unable to adapt to the feedyard pen, encounters a health challenge or injury during the feeding period may be removed from the contest, prior to the marketing date.

Health and Vaccination Requirements:

  • All mandatory vaccinations and health treatments must be certified by the original steer owner or herd veterinarian on a signed ICA CC Delivery Form provided by ICA.
  • Mandatory vaccinations include: 5-way Viral Vaccine(BVD Types 1 & 11, IBR, PI3, BRSV), 7-way Colostridial with Somnus, and Pasturella. These should be given 30 days prior to delivery.
  • Weaned by Oct. 3, 2030, 30 days prior to delivery.
  • Dewormed and treated for external parasites.
  • No evidence of warts, ringworm, lice or mange.
  • Dehorned and healed from dehorning, if applicable, for all horned cattle.
  • All steers will be implanted with an intermediate-dose feedyard implant, booster vaccinated and dewormed upon feedyard arrival. As a commingled pen, steers will receive a preventative antibiotic dose at delivery.
General Considerations:

  • Steers should be weaned, acclimated to bunk feeding and consuming a weight-appropriate mixed ration prior to delivery.
  • Steers will be on a two-week steer acclimation period prior to initiating the feedlot performance test with on-test weight. The acclimation period allows each individual steer to adapt to pen conditions and normalize to diet and weight.
  • Neither ICA, nor the ICA CC Feedyard may be held liable for any sickness or any death loss of the CC steers. Every effort is made to monitor cattle closely and avoid any death loss, but this risk always exists in any cattle feeding situation.
  • Steers will have carcass measurements taken by an impartial third party to ensure accurate data is utilized in the final contest calculations and individual steer rankings.
Performance Guidelines:

  • CC feedyard protocols will utilize available technologies and products to maximize cattle efficiency and saleable carcass weight—along with the optimum carcass quality, to maximize the pen’s total value. Steer feedyard performance and efficiency will be enhanced by the recommended use of Component w/Tylan Implants, Rumensin/Tylan and Optaflexx.
  • Steers will be marketed on one harvest date as determined by the Feeder’s recommendation, the pen’s market readiness and with the approval of the CC Advisory Committee.
  • Steers may be DNA-sampled for carcass traits, tested for BVD-PI and ultrasound measured for carcass traits while on feed. Steer contributors will receive any and all information collected.
  • A new traveling trophy with the winning steer contributor engraved will be presented to the contributor for one year. The traveling trophy will be returned and a replica provided.
  • Cash prizes and/or additional awards will be awarded to contributors of the top 10% of steers. Example: 80 steers contributed, ICA Carcass Challenge prizes awarded to the Top 8 Steers based on the final RVDoF rankings.
  • Special awards will also be given for top-ranking steers for various performance or carcass-based results, such as: Top Marbling Score, Highest Average Daily Gain, Largest Ribeye and Chef’s Choice Award.
  • Steers will be photographed at the start and at the end of the feeding period with all contributors receiving ongoing recognition from ICA at various events via social media and the ICA website and magazine.
Retail Value Per Day on Feed:

  • The RVDoF formula shown below is a popular method used by similar carcass contests, and is highly representative of 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 which reflects differences and quality grade, divided by the days on feed.

RVDoF = {[HCW - (0.55 X StartWt)] X (%RPt) X (carcass prices/0.64)}/days on feed

*where Retail Product (RP) = [65.69-(9.931 x back fat) + (1.2259 x ribeye area) – (0.013166 x carcass wt) - (1.29 x % KPH)]

*where carcass price per pound is determined by the appropriate grid

*where %KPH is the percentage of total fat found in the body cavity of a carcass specifically in the regions of the kidneys, pelvis and heart.

ICA Service & Promotion:

  • Prepare and send performance updates to sponsors when cattle are weighed individually. Steers will be weighed at least four times while at the feedyard.
  • Provide staff assistance to YCLP members with promotion, visibility and steer recruitment.
  • Pay for and ensure proper feedyard management, feeding rations and best-possible, practical care of all CC steers while participating in the ICA Carcass Challenge.

If after thoroughly reading these official guidelines, you have questions regarding any of the information contained herein, please contact the ICA office at 515-296-2266.

Download the Guidelines, Regulations and Donation form