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Lakamp Wins BIF’s Shark Tank Competition

The Beef Improvement Federation (BIF) hosted its first “Shark Tank” competition June 11 during the group’s Annual Research Symposium and Convention in Knoxville, Tennessee. The competition, sponsored by the Beef Research Fund, was developed with the goal of increasing student involvement in the annual meeting.

Drew Lakamp, University of Nebraska, took home the top prize of $3,000, with Kansas State University graduate students Dani Stock and Will Shafer placing second and third, receiving $2,000 and $1,000 respectively.

The competition featured two phases: a written proposal and invited oral presentation. The proposal had to contain an idea in one of the following areas: novel ways to use existing data for new trait development, novel applications of technology for phenotype collection or an application of artificial intelligence in animal breeding.

Finalists were awarded a $750 travel stipend to attend the symposium and present their ideas in a short public presentation. Each presentation was followed by a question-and-answer period with a panel of judges, who evaluated the proposals and selected the winner.  

Approximately 500 beef producers, academia and industry representatives attended the organization’s 56th Annual Research Symposium and Convention in Knoxville. BIF’s mission is to help improve the industry by promoting greater acceptance of beef cattle performance evaluation.

For more information about this year’s symposium, including additional award winners and coverage of symposium and an archive of the presentations, visit Check out the Flickr album.

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