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Willis Wins First Place in 2018 Junior Beef Contest

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ARDMORE, Okla. — The Noble Research Institute announced the winners of the 2017-2018 Junior Beef Excellence Program during a special awards program on April 9, 2018, at Southern Tech in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Forty-one students entered 56 steers in this year's event, which highlights the carcass merit of steers at junior livestock shows in 12 south-central Oklahoma counties. The top 10 entries were awarded a total of $9,650 as part of the annual contest.

Alli Willis, Turner FFA, entered this year's champion steer. As the first-place finisher, Willis earned $2,000 and a custom jacket. The second through 10th place winners are:

  • Second place, Maddi Willis, Greenville 4-H, $1,500
  • Third place, Rance Howard, Ringling 4-H, $1,250
  • Fourth Place, Racelyn Gemmell, Wilson FFA, $1,000
  • Fifth Place, Kage Collins, Tishomingo 4-H, $900
  • Sixth place, Braden Jackson, Ringling FFA, $800
  • Seventh place, Kristen Lovett, Tishomingo FFA, $700
  • Eighth place, Daniel Prentice, Tishomingo FFA, $600
  • Ninth place, Sydney McGowen, Wayne FFA, $500
  • Tenth place, Natalie Keesee, Elmore City-Pernell 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 Austin Miles, program coordinator. "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. Miles said the average total price for a contest steer was $1,680.

This is the 23rd year of the Junior Beef Excellence Program and the fourth year of the voluntary record book 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, Parker Garrett, Dickson FFA
  • Second place, Kade McGowen, Wayne FFA
  • Third place, Merideth Behrens, Colbert FFA
  • The senior division winners are:
  • First place, Krista Carroll, Tishomingo FFA
  • Second place, Braiden Poston, Bray-Doyle FFA
  • Third place, Sydney McGowen, Wayne 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 Hugh Aljoe, director of producer relations. "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/education/junior-beef or contact Austin Miles at 580-224-6475.


2017-2018 Noble Research Institute Junior Beef Excellence Program carcass merit winnersThe 2017-2018 Noble Research Institute Junior Beef Excellence Program carcass merit winners were recognized during a special awards program on April 9, 2018, at Southern Tech in Ardmore, Oklahoma.

Noble Research Institute, LLC (www.noble.org) is an independent nonprofit agricultural research organization dedicated to delivering solutions to great agricultural challenges. Headquartered in Ardmore, Oklahoma, Noble’s goal is to achieve land stewardship for improved soil health in grazing animal production with lasting producer profitability. Achievement of this goal will be measured by farmers and ranchers profitably regenerating hundreds of millions of acres of U.S. grazing lands. Noble aims to remove, mitigate or help producers avoid the barriers that deter the lasting use of regenerative, profitable land management practices in grazing animal production.

Researchers, consultants, educators and ranch staff work together to give farmers and ranchers the skills and tools to regenerate the land in a profitable manner. Noble researchers and educators seek and deliver answers to producer questions concerning regenerative management of pasture and range environments, wildlife, pecan production, and livestock production. Regenerative management recognizes that each decision made on the ranch impacts the interactions of the soil, plants, water, animals and producers. Noble’s 14,000 acres of working ranch lands provide a living laboratory on which to demonstrate and practice regenerative principles and ideas to deliver value to farmers and ranchers across the U.S.

For media inquiries concerning the Noble Research Institute, please contact:
J. Adam Calaway, Director of Communications and Public Relations
580-224-6209 | 580-224-6208 fax

Katrina Huffstutler, Senior Public Relations and Digital Marketing Coordinator | 817-223-2851

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