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Missouri Cattlemen's 'Top 100' Profitability Challenge Continues
Missouri Ag Connection - 08/14/2020

The Missouri Cattlemen's Association is gearing up for the second year of the "Top 100" Profitability Challenge. The steers will be fed at the University of Missouri, South Farm Research Center in Columbia and data will be collected on each steer's efficiency throughout the program. Producers and Missouri students alike will benefit from the program as the FFA Fantasy Feedout component of the program involves youth as well. Students from participating FFA chapters select steers from the challenge and follow the data collected to see which chapter had the best eye for a profitable steer.

New to the challenge for the 2020-2021 year is the addition of a second division which will be for fall calves. Cattle competing in the Calf Fed Division must be weaned by Oct. 28 and will be delivered Dec. 11 through 13. Cattle entered in the Yearling Division must be weaned on or before July 29, and will be delivered between Sept. 11 and 13. According to Sydney Thummel, Missouri Cattlemen's Association Manager of Membership, the new division was added to accommodate the diversity of the cattle industry in Missouri.

"We were able to get quality data from the inaugural year of the Profitability Challenge and want to continue to expand," said Thummel. "Our Profitability Challenge Committee wants the program to represent the full scope of the cattle industry in our state. Many of our producers calve in the fall as well as the spring and adding this second division will provide an avenue for all producers to compete."

All steers that compete in the "Top 100" Profitability Challenge must be MFA Health Track participants from BQA Certified producers and meet the weight requirements for their designated division. The yearling division steers need to be between 790-860 pounds while the calf division steers will be between 630-760 pounds. All steers will also need to be bunk broke; weaned a minimum of 45 days; two rounds of shots with one modified live; and BVD-PI negative prior to delivery.

MCA President Marvin Dieckman said the program began last year after reviewing the structure of neighboring states with cattle feeding contests.

"We added an incentive by purchasing the animal at 50 percent of the current market value as well as including state FFA Chapters," said Dieckman. "Producers competing in the program also receive all of the data collected for the duration, allowing them to make educated decisions about their cattle at home."

The program would not be possible without partnerships with MFA, Inc., Elanco Animal Health, the University of Missouri, Idexx, GrowSafe Systems and each of the producers that participated in the 2019-2020 "Top 100" Profitability Challenge.

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