The Hardin County Carcass Show of Champions was held Thursday, September 14 at Mt. Victory Meats. A group of adults and young people were on hand to hear judge and OSU Graduate Research Assistant of Meat Science Tori Trbovich discuss the merits of the winning animal carcasses from the 2017 Hardin County Fair.
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 that can be harvested from these market animals.
The steers were evaluated for percent boneless trim retail cuts, as well as USDA quality grades. The grand champion steer had a 14.4 square inch ribeye area, with 0.5 inches of back fat. The grand champion graded a high choice quality grade. This first place steer had yield grade of 3.4 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 has the highest cutability). The reserve champion steer had a 16.4 square inch ribeye area, 0.4 inches of back fat, and a yield grade of 2.1. This second place steer also received a low choice quality grade. Overall on the rail, the reserve champion steer’s carcass ranked higher than the grand 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 6.7 to 9.5 square inches, with the grand champion barrow having the largest loin muscle area. The grand champion gilt scored the highest percent lean muscle with 4.01 percentage points higher than the reserve champion barrow. The grand and reserve champion gilts both had a lower amount of back fat than any of the other hogs. Overall, the grand champion gilt’s carcass ranked higher than the reserve champion gilt. The champion barrow’s carcass ranked higher than the reserve champion barrow’s carcass.
The reserve champion lamb carcass had 43.54% boneless trim retail cuts while the grand champion lamb carcass had 40.10% boneless trim retail cuts. The reserve champion lamb had 0.2 inches of back fat, while the grand champion had 0.3 inches of back fat. Overall, the reserve champion lamb was ranked above the champion lamb when evaluated by the carcass show judge.
When comparing the goat carcasses, the grand champion goat’s carcass was 5 pounds lighter with 41.81% boneless trim retail cuts and had a ribeye area of 2.4 square inches. The reserve champion goat’s carcass dressed out with 39.91% boneless retail cuts with a ribeye area of 1.9 square inches. Back fat was 0.1 inches on both the grand champion and the reserve champion goats. In the end, the grand champion goat’s carcass ranked higher than the reserve champion goat’s carcass when all factors were considered.
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 hardin.osu.edu.
The Hardin County Carcass Show of Champions is organized by OSU Extension, and is sponsored by the Hardin County Sheep Improvement Association, the Hardin County Pork Producers, the Hardin County Cattle Producers, the Hardin County Fairboard, and Craig and Ed Powell at Mt. Victory Meats.