The Steer of Merit program is a statewide beef carcass contest, overseen by a Steer of Merit Committee consisting of Montana Stockgrowers Association members and MSU Extension representatives. MSU Extension and MSGA have been collaborating on the Steer of Merit program since the late 1960s. Each year, the Steer of Merit Committee meets in December during the Montana Stockgrowers Association's annual convention to review the prevous fair season's results and make industry-reflective changes to Steer of Merit standards as they deem appropriate. The current Steer of Merit standards are listed below:

Item Range/Standard
Hot carcass weight
650-950 pounds
Dressing percentage
55-68%
Back fat
0.25-0.60 inches
Ribeye area
less than or equal to 17.5 square inches
Yield grade
less than or equal to 2.99
Dark cutter
No
Quality grade
Choice minus or better
Cutability
greater than or equal to 51%

After evaluation, carcasses are ranked by sorting the data in 3 steps. 1) Steer of Merit (yes or no); 2) Price per hundred-weight (highest to lowest; and 3) cutability (highest to lowest). Carcasses are prices based on a grid forumulated from USDA data the third week of June each year. Two divisions have existed since 2008, a carcass division and an ultrasound division. Exhibitors and breeders of the top 5 carcasses in each division are recognized at the at the MSGA annual convention.Links to all of the carcass and ultrasound division Steers of Merit can be found below:

2016 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Carcass Division

2016 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Ultrasound Division

2015 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Carcass Division

2015 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Ultrasound Division

2014 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Carcass Division

2014 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Ultrasound Division

2013 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Carcass Division

2013 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Ultrasound Division

 

2016 Steer of Merit Guidelines and Carcass Basics

Interested in the yield from a beef carcass? Check out this 2013 publication from the Cattlemen's Beef Board and the National Cattlemen's Beef Association based on the NAMP Meat Buyers Guide. Beef Cuts: Primal and Subprimal Weights and Yields