The objective of this study was to determine the effects of level of feeding on growth, feed efficiency (gain:feed; G:F), body composition (BC), and serum concentrations of somatotropin (ST), IGF-I, and IGF-binding proteins (BP) in growing beef cattle supplemented with bovine (b) ST. In each of two consecutive years, 40 growing beef cattle were blocked by weight (average BW: yr 1 = 316 kg, yr 2 = 305 kg) and used in a 2 x 2 factorial arrangement with main effects of bST (0 or 33 microg x kg BW(-1) x d(-1)) and level of feed intake (ad libitum [AL] or 0.75 AL). Relative to uninjected cattle, treatment with bST increased ADG 9.6% (1.14 vs 1.25 kg/d; P < 0.05) and increased G:F 8.1% (12.3 vs 13.3 gain [g]:feed [kg]; P < 0.05), whereas ADG in AL animals was 39% greater than that in 0.75 AL animals (1.39 vs 1.00 kg/d; P < 0.05). There was a tendency (P = 0.10) for a bST x level of feeding interaction, such that the increase in ADG with bST was greater in AL cattle than in 0.75 AL cattle (10.6 vs 7.8%; P = 0.10). Serum concentrations of ST were greater in 0.75 AL cattle than in AL cattle (13.0 vs 8.6 ng/mL; P < 0.05) and in bST-treated cattle than in uninjected cattle (16.3 vs 5.2 ng/mL; P < 0.05). Due to a bST x level of feeding interaction (P < 0.01), the magnitude of the increase in serum ST to exogenous bST was greater (P < 0.01) in 0.75 AL cattle than in AL cattle. Relative to uninjected cattle, treatment with bST increased (P < 0.05) serum concentrations of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 and reduced (P < 0.05) concentrations of IGFBP-2. Similarly, AL cattle had greater (P < 0.05) serum concentrations of IGF-I and IGFBP-3 and reduced (P < 0.05) IGFBP-2 compared with 0.75 AL cattle. In summary, treatment with bST increased growth rate and G:F and stimulated serum IGF-I and IGFBP-3 while reducing IGFBP-2. Feeding at 0.75 ad libitum intake reduced the magnitude of response for each of these variables. Thus, limit-feeding may reduce the effect of exogenous bST on growth rate by blunting bST-induced increases in IGF-I and IGFBP-3 and bST-induced decreases in IGFBP-2.