About the Program


A student program in Montana State University's College of Agriculture combining academic courses with hands-on, technical experience, Steer-A-Year exposes students to the variety of elements involved in raising cattle. Students spend the academic year feeding and managing donated steers, caring for them through the winter and spring, collecting data on feed efficiency and weight gain, and studying livestock marketing.

Producers who donate steers to the program receive useful data through regular reports on their donated animal’s growth and health, as well as detailed information about meat quality after the steers are harvested, that they can then use to benefit their operations.

Proceeds from sales of donated steers support travel and other costs for various student teams and clubs in the College of Agriculture, as well as fund trips for students to meet with commodity groups and industry professionals, such as the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, the Montana Stockgrowers Association and the Montana Farm Bureau Federation, allowing for additional networking and learning opportunities.

“The relationships created through this program are invaluable. It’s such a joy to see our students interacting with producers across the state and to watch them learn from each other. The generosity of our supporters is truly what makes this program possible.” -- Hannah DelCurto-Wyffels, SAY adviser

a student is feeding cows in a barn

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Calves to be donated should be weaned, castrated and dehorned and should weigh 500-800 pounds.
  • Ideally, calves should be available to be picked up in the first two weeks of November.
  • Donated steers are housed at the Bozeman Agriculture Research and Teaching (BART) Farm where students will take over their care. 
  • At the end of the academic year, steers are sold to MSU's Culinary Service. 
  • Awards will be presented to the donors whose steers are at the top of the following categories:
    • Best initial feeder steer
    • Top rate of gain
    • Best feed efficiency
    • Best carcass

The program gratefully accepts donations of:

  • Feed grain or forage
  • Veterinary supplies
  • Proceeds of a live auction sale
  • Monetary gifts 

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