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4-Hers reap benefits of Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge | KTIC Radio

4-Hers reap benefits of Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge

4-Hers reap benefits of Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge
Elijah Walters at the Nebraska State Fair. Courtesy Photo

Elijah Walters of Hemingford finished out his senior year in 4-H with the 2020 Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge.

In its second year, the challenge had 20 youth from 15 Nebraska counties participate. The youth selected and purchased their steers in Overton.

Walters narrowed his choices down from five steers.

“I narrowed it down on structure, the size of the head and the nose, just good body structure,” he said.

The challenge helps the 4-hers gain educational value of traditional 4-H beef projects and provides affordable options to reward production merit and market animal carcass value; accurate and complete record-keeping practices; industry and research knowledge; and producer and 4-H member engagement.

In the growth performance category, Walters took home first place with his steer. The steer had a 3.87 lb. rate of gain.

I had a ration of corn silage, cracked corn, alfalfa, and ddgs, fed specifically to this steer since it was finishing,” Walters said.

The ration was also something Walter’s family grows on their farm and ranch.

“This really taught me the ins and outs of cattle feeding,” he said.

Walters added a lot more thought into getting the right ration and even quality cattle that you think there is and the financial angles. The project helped him in his decision to pursue cattle ranching.

“It’s a really good program, and a lot more kids need to get involved in it because it really teaches a lot more than just regular show steer project,” Walters said.

Nebraska 4-H, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science, offer the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge.

Alongside the youth, large crowds at the Nebraska State Fair received expert instruction from a commercial cattle buyer about sorting and evaluating steers. This exemplified real-world industry standards of carcass merit, grade-ability, and finish. Unanimously, the youth participants agree the Fed Steer Challenge helped them gain valuable knowledge regarding the beef industry – namely, how to feed a market animal more efficiently. Because of their program involvement, these youth plan to stay in the cattle industry to become future beef industry advocates.

The Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge, now in its second year, cultivates the next generation of leaders in the livestock industry. Pictured from left to right are: Shawn Moss (North Platte, NE) State Fair Fed Steer Class Judge, Dillon Heath (Gosper County), Conner Snyder (Frontier County), Callee Carmen (Buffalo County), Elijah Walters (Box Butte County), Ty Ostendorf (Howard County), Lydia Fitzke (Adams County), Lacey Schmidt (Thayer County), Donald Rohr (Frontier County). Courtesy Photo

Winners in the Nebraska 2020 Fed Steer Challenge in each category were:

Growth Performance:

  • First Place: Elijah Walters, Box Butte County
  • Second Place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County
  • Third Place: Lydia Fitzke, Adams County

Record Book:

  • First Place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County
  • Second Place: Lydia Fitzke, Adams County
  • Third Place: Callee Carmen, Buffalo County

Showcase Presentation:

  • First Place: Lacey Schmidt, Thayer County
  • Second Place: Lydia Fitzke, Adams County
  • Third Place (tie): Conner Snyder, Frontier County
  • Third Place (tie): Elijah Walters, Box Butte County

Carcass Merit:

  • First Place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County
  • Second Place: Ty Ostendorf, Howard County
  • Third Place: Lacey Schmidt, Thayer County

Overall Winners:

  • First Place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County
  • Second Place: Lydia Fitzke, Adams County
  • Third Place: Lacey Schmidt, Thayer County
  • Fourth Place: Elijah Walters, Box Butte County
  • Fifth Place: Ty Ostendorf, Howard County

To learn more about the fed steer challenge, visit: https://4h.unl.edu/fed-steer-challenge

 

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