2020 Iowa Cattlemen's Association Carcass Challenge Contest Winners

| October 1, 2020

Contact: Katie Olthoff, Director of Communications, Iowa Cattlemen's Association, 515-296-2266

This has been a challenging year for many regarding the feeding and marketing of cattle in Iowa and across the country. The Iowa Cattlemen's Association Carcass Challenge was not immune to these challenges.

The 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: 

  • Showcase Iowa’s beef cattle genetics, feedyard management, and modern technology. 
  • Offer Iowa’s cattle industry a fun and competitive statewide fed-beef contest to highlight Iowa’s beef production advantages. 
  • Provide leadership and learning opportunities through the ICA Young Cattlemen's Leadership Program (YCLP). 
  • 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 is be paid to the Champion Steer donor(s). Awards for outstanding individual carcass results are also presented. Every effort is made to deliver maximum cattle efficiency, carcass value and net revenue of all steers.

This year, more than 130 different producers, businesses, association and county cattlemen’s groups donated 74 steers to go on feed at Lauritsen Cattle Company in Exira, Iowa. Starting in March, the challenges faced within the packing industry led us to adjust the management of the steers some.  Thank you to our sponsors, Tim Meyer at Producers Livestock and David Trowbridge at Gregory Feedlot, for their cattle feeding insights to help Ty and Clara and Lauritsen Cattle Company know how to best manage this situation.  Elanco, the headline sponsor of the program, worked alongside the Lauritsens to help manage the animal health and performance solutions.

Other program sponsors included Isaiah Shnurman with Square B Ranch, the CUP Lab, Thielen Trucking, Gregory Feedlots, and the Tri-County Steer Carcass Futurity. The program would not have been successful without all of these gracious sponsorships.

About the Awards

Each year we recognize the top 10% of the steers for the RVDoF category, in addition to four other awards that are factors that help drive profitability in the feedlot. The grand prize for the Champion Retail Value Per Day on Feed is $5,000 and a large traveling trophy. 

The Retail Value Per Day on Feed (RVDoF) formula is a dollar value that accounts for hot carcass weight, percent retail product, carcass price, and days on feed, balancing the important factors that ultimately drive profitability. 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. 

The Chef’s Choice Award is a combination of the largest ribeye between 12-14 square inches and the highest marbling score. 

2020 Winners

Retail Value Per Day on Feed

1st place (Grand Champion)

$7.25 value/day

Donated by Custom Precast; Bred by Jason Kurt, Cascade

2nd Place

$6.99 value/day  

Donated by Heartland Simmental, D&R Feeds and Humeston Livestock; Bred by Heartland Simmental

3rd Place 

$6.96 value/day  

Donated by Lubben White Oak Farms, Devinish Feeds and Citizens State Bank; Bred by Lubben White Oak Farms

4th Place 

$6.90 value/day  

Donated by the Ida County Cattlemen; Bred by Mason Fleenor

5th Place

$6.79 value/day  

Donated and bred by Johnson Family Farm

6th Place 

$6.78 value/day 

Donated by Riverview Trucking; Bred by Dan Nelsen

7th Place

$6.77 value/day

Donated and bred by Walter Family Stock Farm

Largest Ribeye

Donated by Walter Family Stock Farm; Bred by Walter Family Stock Farm 

REA 18.29 sq. in.

Highest Marbling

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

Donated by Emmet County Cattlemen;  Bred by Dan Nelsen  

 REA 15.67 sq. in.,  High Choice

Highest Average Daily Gain

Donated by Lubben White Oak Farms and Monticello Vet Clinic;  Bred by Lubben White Oak Farms 

ADG 6.12 lbs./day

Pictured below: Byron and Carolyn Kelchen (Custom Precast) and Jason Kurt

For more photos, click here.