ARDMORE, Okla. — Noble Research Institute announced the winners of the 2015-2016 Junior Beef Excellence Program during a special awards program at the Southern Oklahoma Technology Center on Saturday, April 16, in Ardmore.
Thirty-seven students entered 46 steers in this year's event, which highlights the carcass merit of steers at junior livestock shows in 12 southern Oklahoma counties. The top 10 entries were awarded a total of $9,650 as part of the annual contest.
Katie Carroll, Tishomingo FFA, entered this year's champion steer. As the first place finisher, Carroll earned $2,000 and a custom jacket. The second through 10th place winners are:
- Second place, Madison Currie, Bennington FFA, $1,500
- Third place, Daniel Prentice, Coleman 4-H, $1,250
- Fourth Place, Lexi Latham, Tishomingo FFA, $1,000
- Fifth Place, Clancey Foran, Atoka 4-H, $900
- Sixth place, Miles Cunningham, Springer FFA, $800
- Seventh place, Rylee McCaskill, Elmore City-Pernell FFA, $700
- Eighth place, Ruby Withers, Marietta FFA, $600
- Ninth place, Hunter Smith, Marietta 4-H, $500
- 10th place, Jase Collins, Wapanucka FFA, $400
"The Junior Beef Excellence Program strives to reward and encourage production of superior beef cattle, while providing our future ranchers a glimpse into the commercial aspects of the industry," said Bryan Nichols, Noble Research Institute livestock consultant. "The students put a lot of hard work and good management into their steer projects this year, and it paid off. Many of the cattle produced very desirable carcasses."
FFA and 4-H students enter their show steers in the carcass contest after their show season has concluded. The steers are individually valued on a marketing grid, meaning they are sold on their own carcass merit instead of on the expected average of the group. Nichols said the average total price for a contest steer was $1,647, which is divided by the average live weight of 1,245 pounds for an equivalent live price of $1.32 per pound.
This is the 21st year of the Junior Beef Excellence Program and the third year of the voluntary recordbook and interview program, which is divided into two divisions - junior and senior. The junior division is seventh through ninth grade, and the senior division is 10th through 12th grade. Participants in fourth through sixth grade are encouraged to participate but do not compete for prize money.
The junior division winners are:
- First place, Maggie Thompson, Elmore City 4-H
- Second place, Abigail Nunn, Thackerville 4-H
The senior division winners are:
- First place, Miles Cunningham, Springer FFA
- Second place, Jake Hartin, Madill FFA
"The participants in the Noble Research Institute's Junior Beef Excellence Program are learning what it takes to produce quality beef for today's consumers," said Billy Cook, Ph.D., director of the Agricultural Division. "The students' efforts, even on this scale, are important and will contribute to the United States' future efforts to provide safe, healthy and affordable food for consumers locally, nationally and even internationally."
For additional information about next year's program, visit www.noble.org/ag/jrbeef or contact Bryan Nichols at 580-224-6523.