Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge results

Nebraska 4-H, in collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Animal Science, offered the second year of the Nebraska 4-H Fed Steer Challenge in 2020.

The Fed Steer Challenge cultivates the next generation of leaders in the Nebraska cattle industry by providing youth opportunities. This challenge enhances the educational value of traditional 4-H beef projects and provides affordable options to reward production merit and market animal carcass value; accurate and complete record keeping practices; industry and research knowledge; and producer engagement with the 4-H member.

The program has seen positive participant outcomes in 2019 and 2020, engaging 20 youth from 15 Nebraska counties. These youth selected, purchased, exhibited, harvested, and analyzed carcass data on a steer while networking with industry professionals. Additionally, working as a learning cohort, they participated in monthly educational opportunities led by industry professionals and animal science faculty.

Unanimously, the youth participants agree the Fed Steer Challenge helped them gain valuable knowledge regarding the beef industry—namely, how to feed a market animal more efficiently. Because of their program involvement, these youth plan to stay in the cattle industry to become future beef industry advocates.

Overall winners were as follows: first place: Donald Rohr, Frontier County; second place: Lydia Fitzke, Adams County; third place: Lacey Schmidt, Thayer County; fourth place: Elijah Walters, Box Butte County; and fifth place: Ty Ostendorf, Howard County.

To learn more about the fed steer challenge, visit