Making grade at the NJAS

Farm Forum

One contest at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) reminds youth that, ultimately, they are in the business of producing beef. The carcass steer contest gives National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) members a chance to see how their animals rank for carcass merit, and just what it takes to produce high quality beef.

At the 2014 NJAS held July 7-12 in Indianapolis, Ind., nearly 30 carcass steers were entered from about 15 different states.

“The carcass steer competition gives juniors such a more rounded view of the industry, not just from a showring perspective,” says David Gazda, American Angus Association regional manager, who helps coordinate the contest each year. “It gives them the opportunity to then be involved in all segments of production, from conception to the end product, and really know what they are producing.”

After arriving at the Indiana State Fairgrounds, the steers were weighed, tagged and loaded on a truck to travel to an area processing plant. This year, that was Tyson in Joslin, Ill. Within days, carcass data was reported back on each of the animals and they were ranked according to according to carcass merit, and the top steers were announced as part of the NJAS award ceremony July 11.

Exhibitor premiums are paid based on Certified Angus Beef brand qualifications, as well as cattle that have been enrolled in Angus Herd Improvement Records (AHIR). Premium funds are made possible through an Angus Foundation endowment established by Dr. Curtis and Ann Long of Briarwood Angus Farms in Butler, Mo.

This year, Chase Monte, Mexico, Mo., exhibited the grand champion carcass steer. His steer sired by SydGen Dealer 9883 had a 2.4 yield grade, and a low-prime quality grade. Monte received a $1,000 prize for his top-performing animal. Cortney Bromenshenk, Billings, Mont., had the grand champion bred-and-owned carcass steer and reserve grand champion carcass steer. Her steer sired by B E B Juneau 104 graded low prime with a 3.6 yield grade. Bromenshenk was awarded $750.

Esther McCabe, Elk City, Kan., exhibited the reserve grand champion bred-and-owned carcass steer. Her steer sired by McCabe PVF Providence 0020 graded low choice with a 3.2 yield grade. McCabe was awarded $250.

Others in the top ten ranking were, in order: Dale Eastin, Gretna, Va.; Abbie Ring, Oregon, Ill.; Allison Davis, Shelbyville, Tenn.; Sam Stewart, Eaton, Ohio; Esther McCabe, Elk City, Kan.; Suter Clark, Gretna, Va.; Catherine Cowles, Rockfield, Ky.; and Chase Mogck, Olivet, S.D.

Juniors can also compete as part of a state group, which consists of three steers consigned by at least two exhibitors. In the state group division, the team from Virginia won overall. Team members were Dale Eastin, Gretna, Va.; Suter Clark, Gretna, Va.; and Callie Eastin, Gretna, Va.