NM Youth Beef Feeder Contest

About the Contest

Date: Aug. 25 - Sep. 15
Time: 8 - 5 PM
Location: Statewide
Deadline: Entries are due Sep. 15!!

This contest introduces young people interested in the beef industry to all that is involved in raising commercial cattle. It involves backgrounding a New Mexico weaned spring-born calf, then feeding the animal in a feedlot to evaluate animal efficiency, and finally slaughtering the animal and evaluating the carcass.

Participants have the option to purchase up to 3 calves, and validate their weights by October 15, with a requirement of a 500-pound minimum weight per calf. Calves are required to weigh 850-900 pounds upon entry into the feedlot. They will be delivered to the feedlot in March, where all the cattle in the program will be fed together.

Animal performance will be ranked based on total gain, feed efficiency, and cost of gain. Once the calves reach approximately 1300 lbs., they will be delivered to a USDA inspected processing facility. The animal’s carcasses will then be evaluated for weight, quality grade, yield grade, and overall carcass value. Keeping good financial, animal performance, animal health, and feeding records throughout the process is a vital part of the contest.

The other key component of the contest is Agriculture Advocacy. Participants will learn communication skills through speeches, posters, and promotional videos related to issues the ag industry faces.

What will be gained from the contest:

  • Focus on learning about the New Mexico Beef industry
  • Focus on skills and information that directly translates to a future in beef production
  • Experience producing a beef steer through a commercial feedlot
  • Gain hands on experience in both animal health management
  • Gain experience in communication through speeches, posters, and video production
  • Work with New Mexico beef producers and provide information on how their calves perform in the feedlot and on the rail
  • Leadership opportunities
  • Scholarships to NMSU College of ACES awarded!

Contest Options

Individual Participant

You can participate as an individual.

Ranch Partner

For those individuals that do not have facilities to feed and care for a steer, a partnership can be made with a regionally located ranch. Cattle will be fed and housed by the rancher, the participant will own the steer, and participant and rancher will exchange information to include in the record books; including feed costs, gains, feedlot performance, and carcass quality. If you are interested in finding a ranch partner, please indicate on the application.

Family Team

This option will allow brothers and sisters from a single family to share a single animal entry together. Teams will be responsible for the care of the animal, keep individual records, and individually participate in the advocacy portion of the contest. Entry cost will remain at $50.00 per sibling. Notification of participating as a team should be made by emailing nmyouth@nmsu.edu.

If you are an individual with a disability who is in need of an auxiliary aid or service, please contact Frannie Miller at franniem@nmsu.edu or call at 575-646-1162 by Aug. 31, 2023.

New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperating.

Online Registration

Registration & Fees: Online registration available! Please choose an option to pay with a credit card or mailing your check.

  • Fee: $50 per person
  • Deadline: Sep. 15 at 5 PM
  • Checks: Please make checks payable to NMSU and mail to the address below. Checks must be received by Sep. 15.

ATTN: Frannie Miller
NMSU - ACES | Agricultural Economics and Agricultural Business
MSC 3169, PO Box 30003
Las Cruces, NM 88003
Phone: 575-646-1162
Email: franniem@nmsu.edu

Refunds: Requests must be received in writing to Frannie Miller at franniem@nmsu.edu by Sep. 15.

Tentative Schedule

Schedule by date and item
Date Item
September 15, 2023 Entries/Payment Due
October 15 Calves ownership verified
Photos of calves sent to nmyouth@nmsu.edu
October 30 Calf value validation provided
November Record book training
Youth BQA training
December Speech/poster/video training session
February 2024 Speech/poster presentations – location TBD
March Steer delivery to feedlot – location TBD
June Video Uploads Due
August/September Calves harvested – location TBD
September 2024 Record book training review
Award Ceremony – location TBD

Contact Info

Frannie Miller
Assistant Professor
Phone: 575-646-1162
Email: franniem@nmsu.edu

Marcy Ward
Extension Livestock Specialist
Phone: 575-646-5947
Cell: 575-644-3379
Email: maward@nmsu.edu