Steer of Merit

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 11.5 - 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:

2018 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Carcass Division

2018 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Ultrasound Division

2017 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Carcass Division

2017 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Ultrasound Division

2016 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Carcass Division

2016 Steer of Merit Qualifying Carcasses - Ultrasound Division

 

2017 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