Catch-A-Calf Program

One of National Western’s Most Loved Traditions
They come from Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska and Wyoming to compete in National Western Stock Show’s longest running program of practical beef cattle management. In just over 80 years, the Catch-A-Calf Contest has awarded nearly 3,000 steers to 4-H members hailing from the western United States.

The program began in 1935 when 10 boys caught 10 sponsored calves. The contest quickly caught on, and the program grew to include 52 calves by 1942. Soon after World War II, the program settled at 40 calves per year, which is where the number continues to stand today.
The program is designed so successful participants catch a calf, feed it, and return with the animal one year later as a market steer. The market animals are judged on rate of gain, quality of fitting, and carcass quality. The exhibitor is judged on showmanship, their record book, and a personal interview.

Catch-A-Calf contests in the Coliseum will be held during the rodeo on Friday, January 17, 2020 (matinee performance), Saturday, January 18, 2020 (matinee performance) and Sunday, January 19, 2020 (matinee & evening performances).
Listen to a radio bit about Catch-A-Calf here.

Friday, January 10, 2020
8 a.m. – CAC steers can begin arriving at and must be in place by 12 p.m.
3 p.m. – Record Book Meeting – Beef Palace Auction Arena
Record Books are to be turned in after processing and meeting.

Saturday, January 11, 2020
TBA – Interview Process – Stadium Arena Suites

Sunday, January 12, 2020
10 a.m. – CAC Show – Stadium Arena Following the show there will be a photo session and final awards will be presented.

Catch-A-Calf contests in the Coliseum are held during the following 2020 rodeo performances:
Friday, January 17, 2020 (matinee performance), Saturday, January 18, 2020 (matinee performance) and Sunday, January 19, 2020 (matinee & evening performances).

Applications for the 2021-2022 program close December 1, 2020. Please note, this program is only open to 4-H members ages 12-18 (who must be residents) in Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska & Wyoming.

Contact Us

Record Books & Letters
Molly Keil
4398 Palmer Canyon Rd
Wheatland, WY 82201
Phone: (970) 222-1728
E-mail: nwsscac@gmail.com

Livestock & CAC Manual:
Amy Kelley
PO Box 517
Fort Morgan, CO 80701
Phone: (970) 542-3545
Email: Amy.Kelley@colostate.edu

National Western Stock Show Staff:
Clancy Anderson
Email: canderson@nationalwestern.com

Erin Dorsey
Email: edorsey@nationalwestern.com

4655 Humboldt Street
Denver, CO 80216
Phone: 303-299-5559

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