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WSC Ag Department plans first Carcass Challenge

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010
Posted by Roxane Molinari

WILLISTON, N.D. - The Williston State College Agriculture Department is pleased to announce its first Annual Carcass Challenge, which will run Oct. 27 to Nov. 4.

Livestock producers can donate a steer to be fed at the Hovde Feedlot of Alexander, N.D. The donated steers will be used to raise funds for establishing an Ag Ambassador program which will help recruit and maintain enrollment for the WSC agriculture program.

"Ranchers will donate a weaned calf to the project," said Kim Murphy, Ag Instructor at WSC. "The calf will be put in the feedlot with the rest of the cattle, feed them all the same and weigh them once a month. That way we'll know the daily average weight gain of the calf."

All donated animals must be part of an acceptable vaccination program.

"Once we are finished and the calf is ready to process, we'll have someone there taking measurement and carcass data, giving us all the information we need to find out which steer was best yield grade.
We will award prizes for the top steers in Average Daily Gain and highest carcass value based on quality and yield data."

She said that in the feedlot the cattle will be fed pea ration, which according to research, provides more tender beef. After the carcass is evaluated and processed at Prairie Packing of Williston, the meat will be offered for sale by the quarter, half, or a whole steer.

From beginning to end, this is usually a 200-day process, Murphy said. "They'll donate the calf the last week of October/first week of November; it will be taken to the feedlot and should be finished and ready to process in May or June."

Students and producers will both benefit from this program in several ways:
• Brand inspection process;
• Brand release process;
• Processing change of ownership;
• Health inspection process;
• Vaccination program selection, maintenance and record keeping;
• Feed selection and cost comparison;
• Building rations
• Carcass evaluation, quality and yield grading;
• Calculating cost of gain;
• Back grounding enterprise analysis;
• Financial, economic and marketing training;
• Public relations and communication; and
• Livestock evaluation and selection.

Donors will receive an honorary personalized jacket; advertising in college publication and press releases; recognition at WSC Agriculture sponsored event and an opportunity to support local agriculture students and agricultural education at WSC. The WSC Foundation will issue a receipt for the steer as a tax-deductible donation.

Murphy also wanted to thank Northern Pulse Growers Association for being a major sponsor of the project.

This has been a successful program at other locations, Murphy said, adding that she originally got the idea from MSU-Bozeman. "They have been doing this for quite a few years and it's a huge project there."

For more information, contact Murphy at 701-774-6226 or visit the WSC website, www.wsc.nodak.edu.

Others to contact for information or to donate a steer are: Jim Hennessey of Stanley, 701-629-1858; Gary Martens of Ross, 701-629-9955; Garrett Lalim of Tioga, 701-641-3154; Butch Haugland of Ambrose, 701-965-6234; Dale Naze of Watford City, 701-444-3451; Cameron Young of Kenmare, 701-217-0013; or in Williston, contact Warren Froelich, 701-577-4595, Beau Anderson, 701-570-3506, Wayne Berry, 701-572-9183; and in Montana, contacts are Ann Ronning of Culbertson, 406-787-5312, or Adam Kathrein in Sidney, 406-482-3513.