Results of the third annual American Gelbvieh Foundation (AGF) Steer Challenge and Scale and Rail Sire-Identified Carcass Contest were announced during the 48th Annual American Gelbvieh Association (AGA) National Convention awards banquet on Friday, November 30, 2018. Producers from South Dakota took home top honors with prize payouts totaling $4,750.
The AGF continues to help advance the Gelbvieh and Balancer® breed through its support of research and development. For this reason, the AGF launched the Steer Challenge and Scale and Rail Sire-Identified Carcass Contest in 2016. These two projects together provide the information and funds necessary to generate datasets to advance Gelbvieh and Balancer carcass merit.
The AGF Steer Challenge is a competition amongst individual Gelbvieh and Balancer-influenced steers in which the judging criteria focuses on carcass value and average daily gain in the feedyard. The Steer Challenge gives an opportunity for participants to donate a steer to the AGF. All proceeds from the donation go toward research and development within the breed.
In its third year, six ranches participated at Roode Feedyard in Fairbury, Nebraska. All steers were harvested and index values were calculated in July 2018 with a total of 156 individual carcass data records. The Gelbvieh and Balancer breed continues to prove itself on the rail with 90 percent of these carcasses obtaining a quality grade of USDA Choice and better. In addition, 92 percent of the steers were USDA Yield Grades 1,2, and 3. These steers averaged a 958-pound hot carcass weight with an average daily gain of 3.81 pounds per head with a 5.47:1 feed conversion on a dry matter basis.
Hamilton Farms, a commercial operation near Hitchcock, South Dakota, won big at this event. Scott Hamilton, who was named AGA’s Commercial Producer of the Year in 2016, had the champion Balancer steer in the average daily gain category with the winning steer gaining 5.17 pounds per day. They also had the runner-up Balancer steer in the average daily gain category with the steer gaining 4.99 pounds per day. In the AGF Steer Challenge portion of this contest Hamilton Farms had the champion steer in average daily gain with the animal gaining 4.36 pounds per day. That same animal also had the highest carcass value index in the steer challenge portion of the contest with a 17.20 square inch ribeye, 1,043 hot carcass weight and graded USDA Choice, Yield Grade 2 carcass. Hamilton Farms took home $2,250, which was the highest amount of prize money awarded for this year’s event.
Eagle Pass Ranch, Highmore, South Dakota, owned the champion pen of Balancer steers in the Scale and Rail Contest with a total carcass value index of 3,357.66. They had the champion Balancer steer in the carcass value category with an animal hanging a USDA Choice, Yield Grade 2 carcass with a 16.90 square inch ribeye and 1,048 pound hot carcass weight for a total carcass value index of 1,124.They also had the runner-up Balancer Steer in the carcass value category with an animal hanging USDA Choice, Yield Grade 3 carcass with a 16.65 square inch ribeye and a 1,046 pound hot carcass weight. In total, Eagle Pass Ranch took home $1,500 in prize money.
In the Gelbvieh division, CKS Gelbvieh, Collins, Iowa, was the winner, owning the steer for top average daily gain and carcass value indexing steer as well as champion pen and won $1,000 in prize payouts. CKS Gelbvieh’s winning steer in the average daily gain category gained 4.40 pounds per day. Their top carcass steer had a carcass value index of 996.92, a hot carcass weight of 936 pounds, and a ribeye area of 16.22 square inches. This steer also hung a Yield Grade 2 and USDA Choice carcass. CKS Gelbvieh also owned the champion pen of Gelbvieh steers with a total carcass value index of 2,913.26.
To view full results, including all closeout data, please visit the projects page under the Foundation section of www.gelbvieh.org.
The American Gelbvieh Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation which helps support member education, youth development and research for the American Gelbvieh Association.
The American Gelbvieh Association is a progressive beef cattle breed association representing 1,000 members and approximately 40,000 cows assessed annually in a performance-oriented total herd reporting system.