The International Brangus Breeders Association’s (IBBA) staff actively pursues ways to collect valid data for generating new measures of expected progeny differences. The Carcass Merit Excellence Challenge program provides an opportunity for producers to know the quality of carcasses produced in their individual programs.

The data collected and evaluated  in this program will provide information for improving Brangus genetics. This will further validate our ability to align with current and future carcass alliance programs. This program will increase our knowledge and breeder participation is highly encouraged.


  • Identify superior carcass genetics and add accuracy to the database
  • Provide competitive data to make the Brangus breed more marketable
  • Involve members in data collection for individual production merit and evaluation of young sires


Steers and heifers will be fed for approximately 180 days. The number of days will be determined by delivery weight and average daily gain (ADG).

Cattle will be harvested when the pen has reached the average weight and fatness regarded as acceptable by the industry. The decision will be made by the feedyard manager and an IBBA representative.

Some method of electronic identification is required for all animals. Cattle must be identified by a brand or tattoo that corresponds to the data on the background information sheet.

All cattle will be weighed and processed upon arrival. All cattle will be given a modified live virus vaccine, vaccinated against clostridial organisms, and dewormed upon arrival.

Cattle will be assigned a per-hundredweight value based upon current market conditions in the feedyard trade area at time of arrival at the feedyard. This figure will be used to calculate theoretical breakevens and the financial outcome of the feeding program.

Animals requiring treatment for any illness will be treated according to guidelines established by the feedyard veterinarian. Costs of treatment will be charged to the owner. The feedyard management and IBBA will make every effort to safeguard the health of all animals, but will assume no responsibility for death, loss or sickness. After an acceptable length of time, cattle that are not achieving an economic rate of gain may be sold on the rail. The proceeds from the sale will be placed in escrow for disbursement at the end of the program. Owners will be notified when such cattle are salvaged or when one dies.

Charges to be assessed for each entry at the end of the feeding period include a processing fee, the cost of any pharmaceutical products administered, feed costs, the cost of transportation from feedyard to packing plant, and a Beef Checkoff fee. Financing may be available from the feedyard. Breeders must make those arrangements independently.

Cattle will be sold on a grid at a reputable packing plant where premiums and discounts will apply for quality grades, yield grades, and/or carcass weights at harvest. Fair market value for all sales will be attained; no guarantee is offered by the feedyard or the IBBA for the profitability of participation in the program. Proceeds will be paid directly to the owner after all expenses are deducted.

Feedyard performance information to be collected in the program includes ADG, calculated feed efficiency (pen average), total cost of gain, breakeven, and net return. The carcass information to be obtained is dressing percentage, carcass weight, ribeye area, marbling score, USDA quality grade, and USDA yield grade.

At the conclusion of the feeding period, feedyard performance data, carcass information and a theoretical breakeven analysis will be provided on each consignment. The information will become property of IBBA for use in genetic evaluations and other research needs.


  • All cattle must have one Brangus, Red Brangus, Ultrablack, or Ultrared parent, among other requirements.
  • Cattle must be delivered to the feedlot weighing at least 500 pounds but no more than 1,000 pounds.
  • A birthdate (month and year) must be reported for each animal delivered to the feedlot.
  • Cattle must be weaned and vaccinated according to the recommended VAC 45* health protocol prior to feedlot delivery.
  • Males must be castrated, recommended before three months of age.
  • Cattle must be dewormed before delivery.
  • Sire and dam must be identified for each calf; a minimum of three head per sire is recommended.
  • Cattle must be identified by a ranch brand or tattoo and ear tag.
  • Cattle must have weaning weights taken between 130 to 280 days of age and reported at time of consignment.

LEVEL-TWO REQUIREMENTS: All cattle must meet the guidelines required in level one above, as well as be DNA tested using the GeneSeek Brangus Profiler or Zoetis i50K test with verification to at least one registered Brangus, Red Brangus, Ultrablack or Ultrared parent.

*For more information about VAC 45 program guidelines, click here.

The entry deadline for this program is Oct. 1. Entries should include complete cattle information, breeder information, and fees. The cost of participation is $1 per head of cattle. Cattle should be delivered between Oct. 1 and Dec. 1. There are vaccination requirements for participation. Breeders should vaccinate calves two to four weeks prior to or at weaning and booster per label instructions as follows.


  1. Two doses of 7-way, 8-way or 9-way Clostridial
  2. Two doses of viral 5-way (IBR, PI3, BRSV and BVD Type I and II) and booster per label instructions. The IBR and PI3 components must be chemically-altered modified live or modified live with veterinarian’s approval. The BVD and BRSV can be either modified live or killed.
  3. One dose of Mannheimia Haemolytica and/or Mannheimia Multocida prior to or at weaning and booster per label instructions.
  4. Internal and External parasite control is required.

Producers with outstanding performance in the Carcass Merit Excellence Challenge Program will be recognized. Success will be measured through evaluation of data collected throughout the contest. Cattle will compete by sex and by level for the top ten awards in each category. The categories under feedyard performance are awards for ADG, feed conversion, and hot carcass weight. The categories under carcass performance are awards for dressing percentage, ribeye area, quality grade, and yield grade. The categories under genomic performance are awards terminal selection index value and tenderness score.