ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — 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.
This year the NJAS was hosted in Grand Island, Nebraska, July 10-17. At the NJAS, many animals were checked-in, exhibited and placed. Among these contests and shows was the Carcass Steer contest. The Carcass Steer contest is unique to the NJAS since exhibitors don’t exactly “show” these steers; they send them off for harvest, evaluation and grading following check-in. Within a matter of days, the carcass merit of these steers was reported. The top steers were announced at the NJAS awards ceremony July 16.
“The National Junior Angus Show has an incredible learning opportunity for junior members that participate in the carcass contest,” said Jaclyn Upperman, American Angus Association director of events and education. “Junior members feed and manage the steers to attempt to grade the highest quality carcass they can. Eighty percent graded Certified Angus Beef (CAB) and 20% graded Prime.”
Twenty-six entries from nine states competed in the carcass class at the National Junior Angus Show, confirming that the Angus legacy will continue for generations to come. This contest shows the versatility that Angus cattle have, and how they can be beneficial to any producer.
The top steers’ exhibitors were awarded contest premiums in addition to carcass premiums. In addition to prize money, contestants received carcass data back to influence future selection decisions.
The grand champion carcass steer was exhibited by Aubree McCurry, Burrton, Kansas. Her steer graded Prime with a yield grade of 2.8. The steer had a 12.4 square inch (sq. in.) ribeye area and had a hot-carcass weight of 803 pounds (lb.), which allowed the steer to qualify for the Certified Angus Beef ® (CAB) brand. McCurry received a $30.00 per hundredweight (cwt.) grid premium.
Ethan Vanderwert, Columbia, Mo., was awarded reserve grand champion carcass steer. His steer graded Prime with a yield grade of 2.9. The steer had a ribeye area of 13.8 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 774 lb. His steer also qualified for CAB, and Vanderwert was awarded $28.00 cwt. grid premium.
Kelsey Vandeberghe, Cleveland, N.D., was awarded grand champion bred-and-owned carcass steer. Her steer graded Prime with a yield grade of 2.6. He had a ribeye area of 12.3 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 750 lb. Her steer qualified for CAB, and Vandeberghe was awarded $28.00 cwt. grid premium.
Alexis Vandeberghe, Cleveland, N.D., was awarded reserve grand champion bred-and-owned carcass steer. Her steer graded choice with a yield grade of 3.2. He had a ribeye area of 12.5 sq. in. and a hot-carcass weight of 753 lb. Her steer qualified for CAB, and Vandeberghe was awarded $16.00 cwt. grid premium.
State group was another aspect of the contest. Three steers were grouped together by no less than two exhibitors. Kansas won the first-place state group. The Kansas team was composed of Aubrey McCurry, Burrton, and Avery Mullen, Ulysses.
Winning second place in the state group carcass contest was North Dakota Group 1. This team consisted of Alexis Vandeberghe and Kelsey Vandeberghe, both of Cleveland.
Third place in the state group carcass contest went to North Dakota Group 2. This team consisted of Trace Spickler and Kadence Spickler, both of Glenfield, and Colton Green, Maddock.
Additional NJAS contest placings, awards and scholarships can be found on www.angus.org. Coverage is also available on the NJAA Facebook page, including videos, show results and photos.
–Amber Wahlgren, Angus Communications
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