Steer-A-Year Program Seeks Donations for the 2021-22 Academic Year | national


BOZEMAN – Montana State University’s Steer-A-Year program is seeking donation of young cattle and feed for the 2021-22 academic year.

A student program at MSU’s College of Agriculture combining academic courses with hands-on technical experience, Steer-A-Year exposes students to the variety of elements involved in raising livestock. Students spend the school year feeding and managing steers, caring for them during the winter and spring, collecting data on feed efficiency and weight gain, and studying livestock marketing.

“This program is a huge benefit for our students as it gives many of them the first hands-on experience with cattle ranching that they have ever had,” said Hannah DelCurto-Wyffels, Program Advisor and instructor in the Department of Animals and Range Sciences. “Thanks to Steer-A-Year, they are able to acquire a complete and comprehensive knowledge of the beef industry, which helps them prepare for future careers.”

Donated steers are housed at the Bozeman Agricultural Research and Education Farm. After being looked after by students throughout the academic year, the cattle are sold annually to MSU’s Culinary Services, where the meat is served in the two campus dining halls, Miller and Rendezvous.

Proceeds from these sales fund travel and other expenses for various College of Agriculture student teams and clubs, as well as travel funding for students to meet product groups and industry professionals, such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Montana Stockgrowers Association, and Federation of Montana Agricultural Bureau, enabling additional networking and learning opportunities.

Steer-A-Year students raised 36 steers in the 2020-21 academic year, all of which were purchased by Culinary Services.

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“In addition to benefiting our students, the producers who donate steers to the program receive a lot of powerful information that they can use to benefit their operations,” said Carl Yeoman, head of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences. . “The students who care for the livestock provide these producers with regular reports on the growth and health of their donated animal, as well as detailed information on the quality of the meat after the steers are harvested.

Awards are given annually to the producer who donated the best initial feeder, the steer with the highest gain rate, the steer with the best feed efficiency and the steer that produces the best carcass.

“The relationships created through this program are invaluable,” said DelCurto-Wyffels. “It’s such a joy to see our students interacting with producers across the state and watching them learn from each other. The generosity of our supporters is really what makes this program possible.

DelCurto-Wyffels said that before donation, calves should be weaned, castrated and dehorned and should weigh between 500 and 800 pounds. The ideal pickup period for calves is the first two weeks of November. Those interested in donating steers or feed, providing financial support, or learning more about the Steer-A-Year program can contact DelCurto-Wyffels at 406-994-3752 or [email protected] .

From the MSU News Service

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