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WSC Ag Dept. looking for steers for 3rd annual Carcass Challenge

Thursday, October 25th, 2012
Posted by Bo Saeton

Oct. 23, 2012

For Immediate release
For more information, contact Kim Murphy at 774-6226

 WSC Ag Dept. looking for steers for 3rd annual Carcass Challenge

 WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College's Agriculture Department is pleased to announce the kick off of the third annual Carcass Challenge, with the receiving dates for steers running Oct 22 to Dec. 10.  The sale of these steers next summer will be used to raise money for funding the Ag Ambassador program which helps recruit and maintain enrollment for the WSC agriculture program. 

 "Livestock producers will donate a weaned calf - which must be part of an acceptable vaccination program - to the project," said Kim Murphy, Ag Instructor at WSC. "The calf will be put in the Hovde Feedlot of Arnegard with the rest of the cattle and will be fed the same ration, consisting of pea flour, which research has shown to provide more tender beef. They will be weighed once a month so that we will know the daily average rate of gain of the calf. Final evaluation and processing of the steer will be done next summer."

 When the challenge is done and the calf is ready to process, they will take measurements and carcass data, providing all the information needed to determine carcass quality and yield grades. Prizes will be awarded for the top steers in Average Daily Gain and highest carcass value based on quality and yield grades. The beef will be offered for sale to the public, with the money going to fund the Ag Ambassador program which helps recruit and maintain enrollment for the WSC agriculture program. 

 Students and producers both benefit from this program in several ways, including learning the brand inspection and brand release processes; processing change of ownership; the 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 a 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 noted that Northern Pulse Growers Association will again be a major sponsor of the project.

 "I really do appreciate them for all they've done for the Challenge," she said. "They have been a sponsor for all three of the Carcass Challenges, in fact this year they called me to see if we were doing it again."

 Winners of the second annual Carcass Challenge will be announced and awards presented Dec. 8 at the Cowboy Christmas Event, which is open to the public. Awards to be presented to the operation with the steer that had the highest average daily gain and the operation that donated the steer winning the carcass quality category.

 Participating in the second Carcass Challenge were Dhuyvetters of Noonan, Rolfsruds of Keene, Axelsons of Powers Lake, Jacobsons of Noonan, Rosenquists of McGregor, Christensons of Powers Lake, Ellises of Williston, Smiths of Williston, Seversons of Cartwright, Hovdes of Arnegard and Martens of Ross.

The Challenge has been a great success for the WSC Ag Program.

 "The fact that it is our third annual challenge already is hard for me to believe," Murphy said. "We have had several producers who donated in each of the previous events and we are very thankful for the support from the local producers. I've heard a lot of positive feedback on the program."

 She added that the students in the Ag Program have benefitted from and enjoyed participating in the Carcass Challenge.

 "There are a few students who have graduated and are now out working who have called me to volunteer, offering to pick up steers or asking what they can do to help out," she said. "The students have really enjoyed the program - gathering the data and working on it in the classroom."

 For more information, contact Murphy at 701-774-6226 or visit the WSC website, www.willistonstate.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; Butch Haugland of Ambrose, 701-965-6234; Calli Thorne of Watford City, 701-444-3451; or in Williston, contact Warren Froelich, 701-577-4595, Beau Anderson, 701-570-3506, Wayne Berry, 701-572-9183, Bruce Johnson, 701-570-0324, Brad Rosenquist, 701-570-3223 in McGregor; and in Montana, contacts are Ann Ronning of Culbertson, 406-787-5312.