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UI Extension

University of Idaho Extension
1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 205
Idaho Falls, ID 83402-1575

Phone: (208) 529-8376
Fax: (208) 522-2954
E-mail: extension@uidaho.edu

Interim Director:
Barbara Petty

Idaho Beef Website


Idaho Beef Steer-A-YearThe Steer-A-Year program allows participants to donate a steer to the University of Idaho with the final proceeds going to Animal Science and Athletics scholarships and beef research. Donated steers—usually 50 some a year—are also used in a variety of hands-on animal science courses and for 4-H and FFA judging contests.

If you don’t own a steer, you can purchase one from the University of Idaho. Donors may designate how revenue from their steer is distributed. Donors are invited to an annual golf tournament and banquet in the fall.

Tax Benefits
If you are an Idaho taxpayer, donating to the Steer-A-Year program may entitle you to an Idaho tax credit of 50% on the first $400 of a joint return ($200 single). This credit is in addition to the benefits received when your gift can be included as an itemized deduction on your federal and state income tax returns. As you can see in the table below, the 50% Idaho Education Credit rewards Idaho citizens who give to the Steer-A-Year program. Below is an example of tax benefits for an Idaho tax payer in a 35% marginal bracket:

Joint Return Contribution                                             $    250.00      $    400.00      $ 1,000.00 
Tax Benefit from itemizing deductions     (87.50)   (140.00)   (350.00)
50% Idaho Education credit    (125.00)   (200.00)    (200.00)
NET out of pocket cost of contribution 37.50 60.00  450.00 

Single Return Contribution                                           $    250.00     $    400.00      $ 1,000.00 
Tax Benefit from itemizing deductions  (87.50)   (140.00)   (350.00)
50% Idaho Education credit  (100.00)  (100.00)   (100.00)
NET out of pocket cost of contribution 62.50  160.00  550.00 

How Steer-A-Year Works

  • November to December steer calves are gathered and transported to the University of Idaho Beef Center in Moscow; we arrange for trucking of steers to our facility.
  • Feed/Performance—Following a warm-up period, steers are fed a finishing diet and growth performance is measured. 
  • Steers are sold when they reach market weight and carcass data on steers are collected. 
  • Revenue funds programs at the University of Idaho; donors may designate how the revenue from their steer is distributed (animal science scholarships, beef industry research, and Vandal Athletics).

Awards Go to Donors of Steers with the Best
  • Average Daily Gain
  • Carcass Cut-ability
  • Lean Gain per Day 
  • Most Valuable Steer

Accomplishments from 1998 to 2010 – Steer-A-Year Facts
  • 49 steers donated in 2009-2010
  • 1,150 steers donated from 1998 to 2009
  • More than 350 high school and college students benefited from the steers in educational activities on campus in 2010
  • $534,700 generated (not including return on invested funds) from the sale of donated steers!

How Endowment Funds are Used (2010 Figures)
  1. Student scholarships. Idaho Cattle Association Scholarship fund—$343,100—provided about $13,000 in scholarships in 2010 to students interested in careers in beef cattle production.

  2. Research. Beef Industry Research Endowment—$65,300 in 2010—helps fund applied research in beef production at the University of Idaho.
  3. Vandal Booster scholarships—$187,210 has been distributed to Vandal Boosters for athletic scholarships.