As you know, growth of participation in both the Barrow and Lamb MQP programs has been nothing short of remarkable in recent years. Last year for the first time we had more youth wanting to participate in Barrow MQP than we had the ability to accommodate. While we have yet to reach that point with Lamb MQP, last year we were in fact, very close to our limit. That said, as we’ve worked with our Barrow and Lamb Superintendents and OSU’s Dr. Moeller exploring alternatives, our goal since last fall has been to find a way that allows as many youth as possible the opportunity to enjoy the experience of participating in the MQP programs in 2019 and beyond.
We’re pleased to announce we are in the final stages of developing that plan and have only a few details remaining to be finalized. This is the time line for moving forward, and the detail that we can announce at this time:
- Final plans for the 2019 Barrow and Lamb MQP programs will be announced to 4-H Advisors during their annual update on March 14. Local FFA Advisors will also receive that information on the 14th, and the detail will also posted in this blog for all others to view on the 14th.
- Applications for participation in the 2019 Barrow and Lamb MQP programs will be accepted beginning March 15 and will continue to be accepted through May 1, 2019 in the OSU Extension office. These signed applications, that will include a short essay authored by the youth, must be postmarked, or received in the office by 4 p.m. on May 1.
- All properly completed and signed applications and essays received between March 15 and May 1 will be considered for acceptance into the respective program without regard to the date of the application.
- The Barrow MQP program will conclude on Sunday, September 22 (one week earlier than in past years) at the Fairgrounds, and will be harvested the next day at Bay Packing.
- The Lamb MQP program will conclude on Sunday, September 29 (one week later than in past years) at the Fairgrounds, and will be harvested the next day at Bay Packing.
We are very appreciative to Bay Packing for being willing and able to harvest and process both the barrows and lambs from the 2019 MQP programs.
We are still in the planning stages for potentially hosting a joint program at the conclusion to share the results while exploring the differences in the carcasses that resulted in the scoring.
More information about the subject of the brief essay, and details and rationale behind accepting applications for entry into the Barrow and Lamb MQP programs will be shared on March 14. At that time we’ll also share the criteria that will be used for the priority ranking for acceptance into either of the 2019 MQP programs if applications exceed 30 barrows, or 25 lambs.
It’s rewarding to have so many youth and their families interested in a project that incorporates factors that are important to the consumer such as meat quality, proper animal finish and appropriate harvest weights into the scoring. We remain committed to finding ways that will allow as many youth as possible to participate.