Lawrence County 4-H and FFA members may participate in a new steer carcass project in 2012 as part of the Lawrence County Youth Fair (LCYF).
The intent is to enhance the steer show with high-tech educational activities that conclude with a carcass evaluation in August at Cloud's Meats in Carthage. The basic rules for the program follow the guidelines of the 2012 LCYF. This allows steers to be shown and participate in the premium sale on June 2 at the LCYF at the Ernte Fest grounds in Freistatt.
There is a weigh-in for all participating steers on March 3 at the Forrest Thompson Farm in Stotts City. At this event, the 2011-born steers should be halter broken. In addition to weighing the steers, they will be measured, frame-scored and given a USDA feeder cattle grade. Photos will be taken for future reference.
From the March weigh-in until slaughter time in August, steers will be fed and managed as the owner wishes. Members are encouraged to keep complete records of expenses, including feed, parasite control, treatment costs and showing expense.
Cloud's will coordinate a slaughter date for those steers in the program if the owners wish to get carcass data. Owners will be responsible for securing buyers for their steers. Carcass data will consist of weight, fat cover, marbling scores, ribeye area, yield grade, quality grade and kidney, pelvic and heart fat amounts.
Prior to slaughter, final live weights and daily gains will be taken along with ultrasound measurements for carcass traits for comparison to the actual measurement. Photos of each steer will also be taken.
Several meetings will be held during the March-through-August period to discuss the performance of the steers and to follow the various management practices in use by the owners.
It is hoped that many of the steers will be homeraised.
Prospective steer exhibitors must notify the Lawrence County Extension Center or their FFA advisor by Feb. 1.