Final product education at the NJAS

Farm Forum

The showring is only one small component of the beef industry, and the National Junior Angus Association (NJAA) carcass steer contest at the National Junior Angus Show (NJAS) teaches members about producing high-quality beef.

The carcass steer contest at the 2015 NJAS, hosted in Tulsa, Okla., July 13-18, had 28 entries from 12 states. Once checked in, the steers were tagged with an electronic ID tag (eID) and visual tag, weighed and loaded onto a semi, which took them to the Cargill Meat Solutions processing plant in Dodge City, Kan.

Within five days, carcass data was received and ranked by carcass merit. The top steers were announced at the NJAS awards ceremony July 17.

“The carcass steer contest is probably one of the most important contests we have based on our breed and our advantages,” says Jaclyn Upperman, American Angus Association® director of events and education. “It teaches our juniors about producing a high-quality product.”

The top steers’ exhibitors were awarded contest premiums in addition to carcass premiums. Of the steers exhibited, more than 70% qualified for the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) brand. In addition to prize money, contestants — many of whom compete in the contest for several years — received carcass data back to inform future selection decisions.

Prize premiums are funded through an Angus Foundation endowment established by Dr. Curtis and Ann Long of Briarwood Angus Farms in Butler, Mo.

“This contest teaches kids to understand the end product, and how to produce a quality eating experience for the consumer and to target the CAB brand,” Long says. “Every kid involved should profit from this learning experience; to learn how genetics, feeding or environment affect the quality of cattle.”

Callie Eastin, Gretna, Va., exhibited the grand champion bred-and-owned and owned carcass steer. Her steer, sired by Riverbend Cornerstone, had a 2.5 yield grade and a low-Prime quality grade. Eastin earned a $32 per hundredweight (cwt.) grid premium for her steer. Chase Mogck, Olivet, S.D., won reserve grand champion with a son of Connealy5050 611B. He had a 3.4 yield grade and earned a high-Prime quality grade. He earned a $26 per cwt. grid premium. Reserve bred-and-owned steer was exhibited by Reba Colin, Butler, Mo. Her steer, a son of DSA Predestined Evrrgrn 816, had a 2.6 yield grade and earned low-Prime quality grade, with a $30 per cwt. premium.

The other exhibitors in the top 10 were, in order: Suter Clark, Gretna, Va.; a second steer exhibited by Callie Eastin; Alexis Koelling, Laddonia, Mo.; Casey Martin, Oregon, Ill.; Beau Bromenshenk, Billings, Mont.; Reed Wendel, LaMoure, N.D.; and a second steer exhibited by Casey Martin.

Another aspect of the contest is the state group. Three steers are grouped together by at least two exhibitors in a real-world application, like lots. The Virginia team consisting of Callie Eastin and Suter Clark won the state group.

Additional NJAS contest placings, awards and scholarships can be found on Coverage is also available on the NJAA Facebook page, including videos, show results and photos. Backdrop and candid photos are available for purchase online.