A SusanvilleStuff Feature
by Melissa Blosser, Assistant Editor
For some of us thinking about where our meat comes from, and how it’s judged from the show ring to our dinner table, is just something we would rather not take in. For 4-H and FFA kids the Lassen County Fair Carcass Contest is the end to their project and the final results can prove to be rewarding and educational.
“I think it’s great that we see the efforts of how hard we work, for example if we walked our pig everyday,” said Dillon DelCarlo, second place winner in the swine.
The Lassen County Fair Carcass Contest was held Thursday, August 23rd, at Memorial Park. Carcass contests help create an awareness of current carcass qualities that are considered desirable by the industry and by consumers.
It’s a chance for the kids, and buyers to know how their meat really compares, not just by the look of the animal but by the actual quality of the meat.
“On the hoof is one judge’s call, but the Carcass Contest is a science,” said Rob Allen, president of the Jr. Livestock Auction. “It gives a lot of kids another chance to look at their animal and it’s a good tool for breeders to see the results.”
The contest judge uses carcass quality (how good the carcass is) and yield (how much meat is in the carcass) grades to identify superior carcasses. ‘Carcass quality components’ consist of carcass age and marbling (flecks of fat in the ribeye). Whereas ‘carcass yield components’ consist of carcass weight, ribeye area, fat thickness, and other factors that are species specific.
Carcass contests do not take into account important live animal characteristics such as structural soundness. Therefore animals that place high in carcass contests may or may not be the most desirable animals overall. Genetics, breeding, selection, nutrition and management can affect both carcass and live animal characteristics. Carcass information can help identify practices that result in high performing animals producing superior carcasses.
“It’s a market animal project, but the carcass contest gets the kids an understanding of what they don’t get not in the ring,” said David Lile, County Director of the Cooperative Extension Lassen County.
The carcass contest typically follows the Jr. Livestock Auction which this year was up about $20,000 from last year, with 22 fewer animals in the sale.
“We get such great support at the Jr. Livestock Auction,” said Lile. “I think it’s important that we get that information out to the buyers and let them know the quality of the meat they are buying,” said Lile.
Silver buckle donated by: Frank & Bernice Hagata
Cash awards & Certificate: Lassen County CattleWomen
Silver buckle donated by: Curt & Joan Moran
Cash prizes donated by: Farm Bureau
Silver buckle donated by: Lassen 4-H Council
Cash prizes: Plumas Bank