Lubben Oak Farms steer wins Carcass Challenge

Neal (left) and Lydia Grant of Lubben White Oak Farms pose with the first place trophy the farm received from the ICA Carcass Challenge. (Photos submitted)

The winning steer at 3½ months.

   A steer owned by Lubben White Oak Farms of Monticello was named champion of the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association (ICA) 2022 Carcass Challenge.

   “This animal stood out to me right away,” said Lydia Grant, who manages the cow-calf operation at Lubben White Oak.

   “This steer had a large, muscular figure early on,” she added. “This steer was 700 pounds at weaning – big boy. His arrival weight at the Carcass Challenge was 745 pounds and his final weight was 1,516 pounds.

   “The best part about our steer winning is that his parents were also raised right here on the farm.”

   Founded in 2010, ICA’s Carcass Challenge was created to showcase beef cattle genetics, feedyard management, and modern  technology. Furthermore, Iowa’s only statewide fed-beef competition seeks to highlight continuous improvements within the cattle industry and provide cattlemen with a measurement of maximum cattle efficiency, carcass value, and net revenue of each steer.

   “It’s fun to see how your animals compete next to the other great producers across the state,” Grant said.

   In November, 73 steers averaging 770 pounds were delivered to Sieren Beef, located near Harper, Iowa. Mitch Sieren, of Sieren Beef, fed out the group. At time of harvest, the group averaged 1,344 pounds after 191-days on feed.  

   The Iowa Cattlemen’s Association recognized the top 10 percent of steers based on the Retail Value Per Day on Feed (RVDoF), which highlights the profitability of a carcass. Carcass Challenge donors and participants were recognized on Wednesday, June 1 at the Carcass Challenge Banquet.

   This year’s champion steer had an RVDoF of $7.43. Steer 43 was donated by Lubben White Oak Farms and bred by Grant and Dave Lubben.

   The Grants received a large trophy, leather banner, and a $5,000 check, which they will split with a sponsor.

   “It was a great honor,” Grant said. “It was wild to watch them read through the placings, leaving ours for last.”

   It was not the first time the Lubben farm has succeeded in the contest. In 2020, its steers finished third and ninth, and one of those had the highest average daily gain at 6.12 pounds per day.

   In 2021, a Lubben White Oak steer placed fifth.

   Grant has been managing the farm’s commercial crossbred cow herd for nearly 10 years. Each cow is artificially inseminated during breeding time.

   The farm has been raising and selling bulls for many years. This year, for the first time, it also offered bred heifers and pairs for sale, she said.

   Recruitment efforts for next year’s program will begin as soon as July 1, 2022. Interested parties should contact Madyson Thill at 515-296-2266 or

   “It’s a wonderful fundraiser for both the Iowa Cattlemen’s Association and beef producers in Iowa,” Grant said.



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