Z$8,000 In PrizesX - Under 13 years old - $500 savings bond and trophy

- 14-18 years old - $500 savings bond and trophy

- Over 19 years old - $2,000 in Fort Dodge products

- Feedyard team - $5,000 in Fort Dodge products

Welcome! Each fall, sports buffs study, dissect and analyze the strengths and weaknesses of their favorite college or professional football teams in order to ascertain their chances for end-of-the-season awards. It's that same concept at work in this year's Beef Quality Challenge, an annual exercise designed by faculty at Texas A&M University to teach beef quality management concepts.

On the following pages of this insert and on the Web site www.beef-mag.com, we've provided you images of five pens of feedyard steers and heifers. The object of the 2000 Beef Quality Challenge is to use the information provided on each pen to decide how they will rank in the categories of:

- Feedyard health status

- Feed efficiency

- Carcass value per cwt.

Through the contest and followup you will learn about preconditioning, backgrounding, health programs for feeder calves, feeder calf value, feedlot performance, quality partnerships and selling cattle on a carcass grid. Through this challenge we hope you will:

- Learn more about factors impacting profitability of cattle as feeder calves, finished steers and heifers, and carcasses.

- Discuss with your friends the challenges about beef quality and value that the beef industry faces.

These five pens of cattle were all fed in Texas Panhandle feedyards. Each pen has unique combinations of preconditioning history, initial weight, breed-type mix, initial feedyard weight, and days on feed in the feedyard.

It is your challenge to predict the final ranking among the pens for the three traits listed above. Enter by either using the enclosed card or electronically at www.beef-mag.com.

The actual rankings will be announced in the December issue of BEEF, along with a discussion of issues affecting the pens' profitability. Winners of the more than $8,000 in prizes will be announced in the January 2001 issue of BEEF. Entries must be received by November 15, 2000.

I'd like to thank BEEF, Fort Dodge Animal Health and the Texas Beef Council for their support of this and other beef quality programs.