Don’t Let a Lapse in Biosecurity Ruin Your Fair

Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza has been detected in dairy cattle, a goat and humans!

It’s become apparent that most any mammal can become infected with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza

Frequently over recent months you may have heard of the current outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) in domestic poultry, H5N1. This disease has been occurring since 2022 and has been reported in 48 states, affecting nearly 100 million domestic birds.

On March 20, 2024 the Minnesota Board of Animal Health reported that a juvenile goat on a Minnesota farm tested positive for HPAI. This marked the first U.S. case of the virus in a domestic ruminant.

The following week on Monday, March 25, 2024 the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Center for Disease Control (CDC) issued a statement confirming the identification of HPAI (now called Bovine Influenza A Virus) in dairy cattle located in Texas and Kansas. Shortly after, the USDA confirmed the detection of HPAI in a total of seven dairy herds in Texas, two in Kansas, one in Michigan, one in New Mexico, one in Idaho, and one in Northern Ohio. On April 1, the CDC reported one person in Texas who had been in contact with affected cattle tested positive for HPAI. The next week North Carolina became the seventh state to officially confirm the presence of HPAI in a dairy herd.

These findings are significant because Continue reading

Plans for tagging Market Lambs, Goats, Hogs and Dairy Beef Feeders in 2024 Announced

Youth must tag their animals before arrival on June 29.

The time for tagging and weigh-in of Fairfield County’s dairy beef feeders, market lambs, market goats and market hogs is upon us. Based on the success of the tagging and weigh-in process that has been utilized in recent years, this year will be conducted in a similar fashion at the fairgrounds with only a few modifications.

This year’s check-in/weigh-in for dairy beef feeders, market lambs, market goats and market hogs will happen at the Fairgrounds on Saturday, June 29. The exception is that MQP goats will be weighed-in on May 18.

New this year, in advance of the check-in/weighing process youth will be required to tag their own market animals with an EID 840 tag (unless the animal already has an 840 EID tag). Visual numbered tags will not be provided or required this year but are optional and encouraged for all species.

EID tags and taggers for any market animals that do not already have an EID tag may be secured from the OSU Extension office during the normal office hours of 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Friday. In order that the proper tags and taggers are ready for pick-up when requested, exhibitors are asked to log-in to https://go.osu.edu/fcmarkettags and make tag requests beginning now through June 24, 2024. Youth participating in Goat MQP should request their tags by May 15.

For more details regarding the tagging process, see this check list for tagging.

Details regarding check-in and weighing on June 29 will be announced soon.

MQP Applications for Goats, Swine and Lambs are Due by April 15

Note, some MQP dates have changed!

Entries for the 2024 Fairfield County Jr. Fair Goat, Swine, and Lamb MQP programs are now being accepted. All MQP entries will be accepted on-line and are due on or before April 15.

Please note that some of the important MQP dates have changed as follows:

  • Goats for the MQP contest must be owned by May 18, 2024 and will be weighed-in on that date at the Fairgrounds. After 99 days on feed the Goat MQP contest will conclude at the Fairgrounds on Sunday, August 25, 2024.
  • Lambs for the MQP contest must be owned by June 29, 2024 and will be weighed at the Fairgrounds on that date. After 64 days on feed the MQP lambs will be brought back to the Fairgrounds for the conclusion of the contest on September 1, 2024.
  • Barrows or – new for this year – gilts for MQP must be owned by June 29, 2024 and will be weighed this year at the Fairgrounds on that date. After 71 days on feed the barrows will return to the Fairgrounds for the contest conclusion on September 8, 2024.

Applications for any of these contests must be received on-line by April 15, 2024. Find more details about MQP and links to each of the application portals here: https://go.osu.edu/mqp

‘Finished’ Dairy Beef Steer project is approved for 2024

‘Finished’ Dairy Beef Steer project, new for 2024!

Fairfield County 4-H and FFA youth now have an additional opportunity to raise and market a meat animal project for the 2024 Fair in the form of the ‘finished’ Dairy Beef Steer project. Dairy Beef Steers must be owned and in the possession of the youth by weigh-in on March 9, 2024, and weigh a minimum of 1100 pounds at weigh-in at the Fair on Saturday, October 5. Each youth entering and showing an eligible finished Dairy Beef Steer will earn one sale slot in the 2024 Junior Fair Livestock Sale. Details for this project include Continue reading

Market Beef and Dairy Beef Steer Tagging, Weighing, and DNA Sample Collection Procedure for 2024

Weigh-in for all calves intended for the market beef show in 2024 is March 9th, by appointment!

It’s time once again to prepare for Jr. Market Beef tagging and weigh-in. This year it is being conducted in a fashion like recent years but in addition will include exhibitors planning to participate in the recently created ‘finished’ Dairy Beef Steer project in Fairfield County.

Market beef weigh-in for traditional beef animals as well as dairy beef steers is set for Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Fairfield Cattle Company located at 3443 Cincinnati-Zanesville Road (S.R. 22), Lancaster, from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. In advance of March 9th exhibitors will be required to tag their own market beef animals with an 840 EID tag (unless the calf already has an EID tag). Visual numbered tags are encouraged but will not be provided or required this year. As in the recent past, participants will submit a hair follicle DNA sample at the weigh-in for each calf.

Again this year families with market beef and dairy beef steer projects are also required to reserve a weigh-in time for the 9th, and only those directly involved in transporting and weighing-in calves should plan to attend . . . please, no spectators! The goal remains to Continue reading

Beef Performance and Carcass Quality Contest Rules Released, Application Portal Open

Apply to participate by January 12th

As it was announced in early November, in 2024 the Junior Fair Beef Performance and Carcass Quality contest entries – also known as BPCQ or the ‘carcass contest’ – will be harvested and evaluated hanging on the rail. Much like the other local county carcass-based program participants, youth in the BPCQ contest will now have the opportunity go into the meat cooler prior to Fair and see first hand the quality grade of their animal and learn how yield grade was evaluated.

In an effort to update the contest and base it on current day profitability factors, the details for scoring will also change in 2024. While still evaluating a combination of growth, performance and carcass characteristics, the final BPCQ contest rankings will be based on Continue reading

New Livestock Tagging/Weighing and MQP Dates for 2024

Several dates including tagging, weigh-in, and MQP conclusion have changed!

A Greek philosopher once said, “the only constant in life is change.” If you plan to participate in large animal market livestock projects at the 2024 Fairfield County Jr. Fair, that couldn’t be truer.

Due to a quirk in the 2024 calendar, some historic calendar conflicts, and the move to harvesting the Beef Performance and Carcass Quality animals in 2024 several adjustments have been made to the calendar for goat, lamb, swine, beef and dairy feeder project participants. In 2024 weigh-in and tagging will be held the last Saturday in June, and the schedule for the MQP projects will also change. Specifically, the dates for 2024 that were approved by the Sr. Fair Board at their November 4th meeting include:

March 9:  Market Beef weigh-in

May 18:  Goat MQP weigh-in

June 29:  Dairy feeder weigh-in, market goat tag check-in, market hog (including MQP) tag check-in, market lamb (including MQP) tag check-in.

August 25:  Goat MQP conclusion

September 1:  Lamb MQP conclusion

September 8:  Barrow MQP conclusion

September 24:  Beef Performance & Carcass Quality (beef carcass contest) conclusion

October 1:  If participation exceeds capacity for the 24th, date for second Beef Performance & Carcass Quality (beef carcass contest) conclusion

Place these dates on your calendar and more information and detail about tagging and weigh-in will be released as soon as it becomes available.

New Livestock Tagging/Weighing and MQP Dates for 2024

Several dates including tagging, weigh-in, and MQP conclusion have changed!

A Greek philosopher once said, “the only constant in life is change.” If you plan to participate in large animal market livestock projects at the 2024 Fairfield County Jr. Fair, that couldn’t be truer.

Due to a quirk in the 2024 calendar, some historic calendar conflicts, and the move to harvesting the Beef Performance and Carcass Quality animals in 2024 several adjustments have been made to the calendar for goat, lamb, swine, beef and dairy feeder project participants. In 2024 weigh-in and tagging will be held the last Saturday in June, and the schedule for the MQP projects will also change. Specifically, the dates for 2024 that were approved by the Sr. Fair Board at their November 4th meeting include:

March 9:  Market Beef weigh-in

May 18:  Goat MQP weigh-in

June 29:  Dairy feeder weigh-in, market goat tag check-in, market hog (including MQP) tag check-in, market lamb (including MQP) tag check-in.

August 25:  Goat MQP conclusion

September 1:  Lamb MQP conclusion

September 8:  Swine (barrows or gilts) MQP conclusion

September 24:  Beef Performance & Carcass Quality (beef carcass contest) conclusion

October 1:  If participation exceeds capacity for the 24th, date for second Beef Performance & Carcass Quality (beef carcass contest) conclusion. (UPDATE: October 1 is confirmed as the cattle collection, weighing and photograph date for half of the BPCQ cattle.)

Place these dates on your calendar and more information and detail about tagging and weigh-in will be released as soon as it becomes available.

Beef Performance and Carcass Quality Contest Cattle to be Harvested in 2024

In 2024, Jr. beef exhibitors will get into the cooler and actually see what they produced!

In 1995 the Fairfield County Cattleman’s Association created a contest that allowed local junior beef exhibitors the opportunity to participate in a real-world beef production contest that rewarded participants for added market value traits. Continuing since that time the Beef Performance and Carcass Quality (BPCQ) contest has evaluated entries based on a combination of growth, performance, and carcass characteristics.

In the beginning the carcass characteristics of economic significance were evaluated for the contest in the Bay Packing meat cooler after the animal was harvested. In recent years the carcasses have been evaluated using ultrasound technology. In 2024 the carcass evaluation will return to the meat cooler.

While ultrasound technology has served the contest well for several years, it prevented youth from having the opportunity to see firsthand the meat quality of the animal they had raised. Much like the other local county carcass-based program participants, youth in the BPCQ contest will now have the opportunity go into the meat cooler prior to Fair and see first hand the quality grade of their animal and Continue reading

Open Show Arena for Beef Cattle Exhibitors, September 10 and 24

An opportunity to acclimate your beef cattle project to the Fair environment before the Fair.

For many Junior Fair beef exhibitors, the week of the Fair is the only time a project animal has been away from home since it was tagged or weighed in at the beginning of the project. The opportunity for project animals, especially large animals like beef cattle, to get away from home at least once or twice before the Fair goes a long way in allowing both the animal and the exhibitor to more easily acclimate to the Fair environment when the time comes.

With that in mind and knowing there’s precious little time to acclimate beef cattle to the Show Arena after arrival at the Fair, beef cattle exhibitors have the opportunity on September 10 and again on September 24 to bring their project beef animals to the Fairground for “Open Show Arena.”

The Feeder Creek Show Arena will be open from noon until approximately 3 p.m. on Continue reading