September 22, 2020 - 9:58am --

The Hardin County Carcass Show of Champions were evaluated Friday, September 18 at Jenkins Meats in Mt. Victory. Because of the pandemic, this year’s event was virtual and featured OSU Department of Animal Sciences Assistant Professor of Meat Science Dr. Lyda Garcia as the judge and she discussed the merits of the winning market livestock carcasses from the 2020 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. The project animals were 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 reserve champion steer had a 13.7 square inch ribeye area and 0.45 inches of back fat. This steer graded a low choice quality grade. The grand champion steer had a 13.4 square inch ribeye area with 0.65 inches of back fat. This steer also graded a low choice quality grade. The reserve champion steer had yield grade of 2.9 (on a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 has the highest cutability), while the grand champion steer had a yield grade of 3.7. Overall, on the rail the reserve champion steer’s carcass ranked higher than the 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 loineye measurement areas ranged from 7.5 to 10.0 square inches, with the reserve champion gilt having the largest loineye measurement area. The reserve champion gilt also scored the highest percent lean (saleable product) with 2.34 percentage points higher than the champion gilt. The grand champion barrow and the reserve champion gilt both 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 47.11% boneless trim retail cuts while the reserve champion lamb carcass had 45.62% boneless trim retail cuts. The grand champion lamb had 0.9 inches of body wall thickness, while the reserve champion had 1.1 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 illustrates 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 livestock. A video of the virtual carcass show can be accessed at and the complete carcass show data is available on Hardin County Extension’s website at and at the OSU Extension office.

The Hardin County Carcass Show of Champions is organized by OSU Extension, and is sponsored by the Hardin County Sheep Improvement Association, Hardin County Pork Producers, Hardin County Cattle Producers, Hardin County Agricultural Society, and Jenkins Meats.