KINGMAN - "Judging live animals on the hoof, as is done at the county fair is very different from judging carcasses on the rail," said Gerald Olson, Extension Agent, 4-H. "Livestock judges, judging 'on the hoof' cannot see through the hide of the animal so they must rely on their experiences and knowledge to place the animals. But after the animals are sent to market and the cover is off, that's when the real story is told.
To get the real story on the quality of the meat on the animals they raised, 4-H members from Mohave County traveled to Tucson to participate in the 37th Annual Mohave County 4-H Carcass Contest.
"All of the Award of Merit carcasses were exceptional quality, but because of the strict judging criteria used, only the very, very best received awards," Olson said.
The carcass contest was developed to help members evaluate their exercise and feeding programs with the final finished meat product.
Dr. Samuel Garcia from The University of Arizona, Meat Science Department, evaluated the beef, sheep, goat, and swine carcasses according to strict standards and modern grading criteria of the meat industry. "The steers were really good." said Garcia.
Zane Campbell of the Outlaws 4-H Club received the top "Steer-of-Merit" Award for his 822-pound carcass. Also receiving Steer of Merit awards were Samantha Roer, Wranglers 4-H Club; Dakota Parker, Outlaws 4-H Club; Dallas Morgan, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; and Allysa Roer, Wranglers 4-H Club.
In order for beef carcasses to receive a "Steer-of-Merit" Award, they had to have a rib-eye size of at least 1.6 square inches per 100 pounds of carcass weight, yield grade not over 3.0, and a final carcass grade of select 70, or better. Also used to evaluate beef carcasses were fat thickness, cutability, and hot carcass weight.
Kaylee Willis of the Wranglers 4-H Club received the top placing "Swine of Merit" award, 74.2 percent of the swine in the contest received Swine of Merit awards. Others receiving Swine of Merit awards (in award order) were: Kilian Siyuja, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Zane Campbell, Outlaws 4-H Club; Baylee Hammond, Thundering Hooves 4-H Club; David Gonzales, Stockton Hill Herd 4-H Club; Sage Ensley, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Madi Goers, Stockton Hill Herd 4-H Club; Cassidy Bracken, Cactus Critters 4-H Club; Chase Ensley, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Taylor Lewis, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Kirsten Rodenbaugh, Cactus Critters 4-H Club; Dalton Long, Jolly Ranchers 4-H Club; Falicity Pitts, Mohave Rebels 4-H Club; Malinda Boehm, Mohave Rebels 4-H Club; Clayten 'Sid' Jensen, Mohave Rebels 4-H Club; Lainey Gross, Mavericks 4-H Club; Elizabeth Samson, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Micheal Willis, Wranglers 4-H Club; Kailah Goers, Stockton Hill Herd 4-H Club; Teri Lewis, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Kirsten Rodenbaugh, Cactus Critters 4-H Club; Harlee Roberts Cactus Critters 4-H Club; Porter Cavallier, Wranglers 4-H Club; Ashton Dollarhide, Wranglers 4-H Club.
Carlina Ng of the Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club raised the top placing "Lamb-of-Merit" Award, 41.1 percent of the lambs graded Lamb of Merit. Others receiving lamb awards in order of merit were: Lynsey Day, Outlaws 4-H Club; Tacey Lewis, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Tacey Lewis, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Jozua Fielding, Buck-N-Doe 4-H Club; Madi Goers, Stockton Hill Herd 4-H Club; Serena Parker, Outlaws 4-H Club.
Cameron Gaddis of the Mavericks 4-H Club raised the Top Placing "Goat-of-Merit" Award. Others receiving goat awards in order of merit were: Amber Tefft, Outlaws 4-H Club; Lynsey Day, Outlaws 4-H Club; Kiersten Hays, Kingman FFA; Megan Kaufman, Mavericks 4-H Club; Barbara Ramirez, Kingman FFA.
Swine carcass competing for the "Swine-of-Merit" Award had to have a back fat thickness less than one inch, a minimum carcass length of 29.5 inches, 55 per cent or more muscling, and muscle color had to range from 2 to 4.
To receive a "Lamb-of-Merit" Award, lambs needed to have a leg of lamb of specified size, a yield grade not to exceed 2.6, and the final carcass grade had to be Choice 50 or above.
To receive "Goat-of-Merit" Award, goats are graded by this formula: Goat Percent Semi-Boneless Closely Trimmed Primal Cuts% = 60.69330 - .23174 x Hot Carcass weight + 1.96202 x Ribeye area - 1.57832 x body wall thickness.
"It's great to see the kids learning how to improve their carcasses." Garcia said.
Photos and results from the recent carcass contest can be viewed at https://extension.arizona.edu/4h/mohave-county-4-h-carcass-contest view Beef Rib-eyes, Award Photos, and Photos of the members' trip to Tucson and experience at the Meat lab.
4-H is the Youth Development of The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension System, and is open to all youth ages 5 to 19, without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age, or disability.
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