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The Hardin County Carcass Show of Champions was held Sept. 10 at Mt. Victory Meats. A group of adults and young people were on hand to hear judge Lorraine English discuss the merits of the winning animal carcasses from the 2013 Hardin County Fair. English, a recent OSU graduate and past member of the OSU Meats Judging Team, is this year’s coach of the OSU Meats Judging Team. She has judged numerous county fair carcass shows.
The Grand Champion and Reserve Champion steers, barrows, gilts, lambs, and goats from the Hardin County Fair are sent to Mt. Victory Meats for holding and processing. As in all county fairs, the winning animals are carefully tested by the Ohio Department of Agriculture for any illegal residues. These winning animals were again found to be drug free and of high quality.
The project animals are evaluated in the show ring by experienced judges, who try to estimate which one will yield the highest quality of lean meat. For the Carcass Show, actual measurements are taken of the weight, muscle, and fat to determine the quality and amount of meat which can be harvested from the meat animals.
The steers were evaluated for percent boneless trim retail cuts, as well as USDA quality grades. The champion steer had a 14.8 square inch ribeye area, with 0.70 inches of back fat. The marbling in the ribeye gave the champion a choice quality grade. The first place steer had yield grade of 3.3 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 has the most meat). The reserve champion steer had a 14.6 square inch ribeye area, 0.50 inches of back fat, and a higher yield grade of 2.8. This second place steer also received a choice quality grade. Because of this higher yield grade, the reserve champion steer’s carcass ranked higher than the champion steer’s carcass.
The hog carcasses are evaluated based on the amount of lean muscle they will yield in combination with the amount of back fat. On the four hog carcasses in the show, the loin muscle areas ranged from 8.2 to 10.7 square inches, with the champion gilt having the largest loin muscle area. The champion gilt also scored the highest percent lean muscle with 9.5 percentage points higher than the reserve champion barrow. The champion gilt also had a lower amount of back fat than any of the other hogs. Overall, the champion gilt’s carcass ranked higher than the reserve champion gilt. The reserve champion barrow’s carcass ranked higher than the champion barrow because of carcass quality.
The champion and reserve champion lamb carcasses had similar boneless trim retail cuts with both animals finishing out at 47 percent. Although both lambs were similar in percentage of muscle, the quality grades and adjusted boneless trim retail cuts placed the reserve champion lamb’s carcass over the champion lamb’s carcass. The reserve champion lamb’s carcass graded low prime with 43.9 percent adjusted boneless trim retail cuts while the champion lamb’s carcass graded high choice with 41.9 percent adjusted boneless trim retail cuts.
When comparing the goat carcasses, the reserve champion goat’s carcass was 8 pounds heavier with 48.1 percent boneless trim retail cuts and had a ribeye area of 2.1 square inches. The champion goat’s carcass dressed out with 47.6 percent boneless retail cuts but only had a ribeye area of 1.7 square inches. Back fat was negligible as the reserve champion carcass ranked higher than the champion goat’s carcass when evaluated by the carcass show judge.
The carcass show animals illustrate the high quality of meat animals being produced by Hardin County 4-H and FFA members. These young people and their parents need to be commended on the outstanding job they are doing with the feeding and care of their project animals. The complete carcass show data is available at the OSU Extension office and on Hardin County Extension’s website at: http://hardin.osu.edu/, under the Announcements area. It can also be found on the Hardin County Extension Facebook page.
The Carcass Show of Champions is organized by the Hardin County OSU Extension staff, and is sponsored by the Hardin County Sheep Improvement Association, the Hardin County Pork Producers, the Hardin County Cattle Producers, the Hardin County Fair Board, and Craig and Ed Powell at Mt. Victory Meats.
By MARK BADERTSCHER
OSU Extension Educator