County Fair Champion Carcasses Evaluated

Written by on September 19, 2019

Hardin County – The Hardin County Carcass Show of Champions was held Wednesday, September 11 at Jenkins Meats in Mt. Victory. A group of adults and young people were on hand to hear judge and OSU Meat Judging Team Coach Jake Parkinson discuss the merits of the winning market livestock carcasses from the 2019 Hardin County Fair.
The Grand Champion and Reserve Champion steers, barrows, gilts, and lambs from the Hardin County Fair are sent to Jenkins 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 15.5 square inch ribeye area, with 0.5 inches of back fat. The grand champion graded a low choice quality grade. This first place steer had yield grade of 2.7 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 has the highest cutability). The reserve champion steer also had a 15.5 square inch ribeye area, 0.6 inches of back fat, and a yield grade of 2.9. This second place steer graded a low choice quality grade. Overall on the rail, the grand champion steer’s carcass ranked higher than the reserve 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. Comparing the four hog carcasses in the show, the loin muscle areas ranged from 7.65 to 9.35 square inches, with the grand champion gilt having the largest loin muscle area. The reserve champion gilt scored the highest percent boneless trimmed retail cuts (saleable product) with 5.45 percentage points higher than the reserve champion barrow. The reserve champion gilt had the lowest amount of back fat of any of the other hogs. Overall, the reserve champion gilt’s carcass ranked higher than the grand champion gilt. The grand champion barrow’s carcass ranked higher than the reserve champion barrow’s carcass.
The grand champion lamb carcass had 46.55% boneless trim retail cuts while the reserve champion lamb carcass had 43.37% boneless trim retail cuts. The grand champion lamb had 1.0 inches of body wall thickness, while the reserve champion had 1.5 inches of body wall thickness. Overall, the grand champion lamb was ranked above the reserve champion lamb 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
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 Jenkins Meats.

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