WSC's Ag Department Prepares for 4th Annual Carcass Challenge


The Ag Department at Williston State College is getting ready for the 4th annual Carcass Challenge. Students in the program take calves donated from area livestock producers to Hovde Feedlot in Arnegard, feed them the same rations, and weigh and process them monthly and study the data. When they are ready to be processed, they are brought to Prairie Packing and sold as quarters, halves, or wholes. The proceeds fund the Ag Ambassador program.

The Ag Ambassador program helps communicate the importance of agriculture in our area. “Students interested in agriculture will go out in a leadership fashion and promote agriculture,” said Kim Murphy, Ag instructor at WSC. “It’s agriculture advocacy.”

Those interested in donating a calf to the Carcass Challenge have from now until December 30th to do so. In addition to supporting the Ag Ambassador program, a donation has many benefits for livestock producers, including gaining valuable data on the genetics of their calf. “When they are processed, we take the data and get quality grades on the carcasses,” said Murphy. “We give out awards for the best gainer and the overall best carcass data.”

Awards are given out during a special event hosted by the Ag Department called “Cowboy Christmas.” This year’s event will take place on December 7th. It is open to the public and donors receive free tickets to the event. Cowboy Christmas will include a prime-rib supper and live entertainment, and the National Finals Rodeo will be shown live on the big screen. Awards will be given out for last year’s donors.

Those who donated to the 3rd annual Carcass Challege are: Aaron and Shelbley Jacobson of Noonan; Emmet O’Neil of Columbus; Bradley Rosenquist of McGregor; Jonathan Enget of Stanley; Helen Glasoe of Wildrose; Mark and Shelley Ellis of Williston; Brandon Erickson of Powers Lake; Gary Tande of Battleview; Curt and Nancy Severson of Cartwright; Lynn and Nathan Hovde of Arnegard; and Lee and Kim Murphy of Williston.

A number of donors have donated a calf to every Carcass Challenge: Aaron and Shelbey Jacobson, Noonan; Mark and Shelley Ellis, Williston; Curt and Nancy Severson, Cartwright; and Lynn and Nathan Hovde, Arnegard.

A special thanks goes out to all donors who have made the Carcass Challenge a success. Murphy would also like to thank Bradley Rosenquist, a former student who has been an important part of the success of the Carcass Challenge. “He is the reason this program is still going because he has found a lot of our donations and he picks them up and delivers them for us. He even donated a steer last year,” she said. “He’s been great.”

More information on the Carcass Challenge can be found at, by calling Kim Murphy at (701)774-6226, or by visiting the WSC Ag Department Facebook page at For other information regarding Williston State College, visit, call (888)863-9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND. 


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