Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge cultivates next generation of cattle industry leaders

by Natalie Jones | IANR News

Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge
Nebraska 4-H, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science, offered the fifth year of the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge in 2022.

October 11, 2022

Lincoln, Neb. —Nebraska 4-H, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science, offered the fifth year of the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge in 2022.

The Fed Steer Challenge cultivates the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry by providing youth real-world opportunities in the beef sector. This challenge enhances the 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 engagement with the 4-H member. 

The youth selected, purchased, exhibited, harvested, and analyzed carcass data on a steer while networking with industry professionals. Additionally, working as a learning cohort, they participated in monthly educational opportunities led by industry professionals and Animal Science faculty. 

Alongside these youth, large crowds at the Nebraska State Fair receive expert instruction from a commercial cattle buyer about sorting and evaluating steers. This exemplifies 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 2022 Nebraska participants included: Claire Ahrens,  Sherman County, Pleasanton FFA ; Leah Christen, Pawnee County, Lewiston FFA; Abigail Gorecki, Buffalo County; Nathan Gorecki, Buffalo County; Eldon Haack, Franklin County, Franklin FFA; Jaleigh Hallsted, Cuming County, Wisner-Pilger FFA; Madison Hirschman, Howard County, St. Paul FFA; Cassidy Maricle, Boone County, Boone Central FFA; Klaira Rasmussen, Howard County; Nickolas Rohr, Frontier County, Cambridge FFA; Conner Snyder, Frontier County, McCook FFA; Treygan Srajhans, Fillmore County, Fillmore Central FFA; Noah Summers, Buffalo County, Shelton FFA; Skyler Summers, Buffalo County, Shelton FFA. Winners in each category were: 

Growth Performance: 

  • First Place: Connor Snyder
  • Second Place: Madison Hirschman
  • Third Place: Claire Ahrens

Carcass Merit

  • First Place: Connor Snyder
  • Second Place: Eldon Haack
  • Third Place: Noah Summers

Record Book:  

  • First Place: Jaleigh Hallsted
  • Second Place: Conner Snyder
  • Third Place: Claire Ahrens

Industry Interview

  • First Place: Madison Hirschman
  • Second Place: Jaleigh Hallsted & Skyler Summers
  • Third Place: Conner Snyder

Overall Winners:

  • First Place: Conner Snyder
  • Second Place: Jaleigh Hallsted
  • Third Place: Claire Ahrens
  • Fourth Place: Madison Hirschman
  • Fifth Place: Skyler Summers

 The winners of each award category receive cash prizes and the overall winners each will win a cash award as well as a $500 scholarship to Nebraska’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.

To learn more about the fed steer challenge, visit:

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