Market animals may go home this year . . . carefully consider that option!

In 2020, youth have the option to decide at weigh-in if they want to take their market animals home.

By now you’ve heard the Sr. Fair Board recently passed a motion making the 2020 Jr. Fair market shows ‘partial terminal.’ In this case, that means only the Champion and Reserve Champion market beef, market swine, market lamb and market goat will be required to stay on the grounds and be harvested and inspected at the conclusion of the Fair. Aside from those 8 champions, all youth will be given the opportunity to take their market animals home at the conclusion of their shows. For those not choosing to take their animals home, packer bids will be secured same as in the recent past. The option to take market animals home is being allowed for 2020 only and is the direct result of disruption to livestock markets caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

While nearly all livestock markets were impacted by the disruption to the meat supply chain caused when packing house workers contracted coronavirus and plants were temporarily closed beginning in early spring, none were impacted as severely as the hog markets. Swine packing plant closures, followed by slow downs in processing caused by social distancing requirements implemented in packing plants have created a backlog of more than 1.5 million hogs that would have typically been marketed by this time. Without the benefit of having already contracted hogs for sale as most large-scale commercial producers do, today it’s difficult to even secure a bid to purchase hogs that originate from Fairs. Packer bids for Ohio Fair pigs this year have commonly ranged from 10 to 15 cents per pound, or roughly $25 to $40 total, per pig.

While offering this opportunity that Continue reading

Jr Livestock Sale is still on as scheduled, with a few modifications

With respect and concern for the health and safety of our youth, their families, and our buyers, this year’s sale will be different, but it will happen!

After experiencing a year filled with challenges, we are excited to share with you the 2020 Fairfield County Junior Fair Livestock Sale is STILL ON as scheduled. We know our youth are putting the finishing touches on their livestock projects and now we know they will have the opportunity to market their projects in the Show Arena on the fairgrounds during the annual Junior Fair Sales, October 15 and 16, 2020.

As you might imagine, due to concerns for the health and safety of our youth, their families, and our buyers, this year’s sale will be different than sales in the past. While everyone will continue to receive additional updates from now until Fair, this is meant to highlight changes regarding the sale of Jr Fair livestock that we know at this point.

After careful consideration of a number of factors including current livestock market conditions, and suggestions and/or requirements offered by the Governor and the Department of Health, we will proceed with the Jr. Fair livestock sales on October 15 and Continue reading

Marketing Freezer Meat from MQP Projects

Dr. Steve Moeller explains to exhibitors the attributes of a high quality meat animal.

As you likely know a barrow or lamb muscle quality and performance (MQP) project is unique in that it rewards real world livestock production concerns like performance, appropriate market weight, proper finish, and overall meat quality. The marketing of the resulting freezer meat from these projects is another important skill building part of these youth projects.

In July, 18 youth began the Lamb MQP project and 30 youth started barrows for an MQP project. This fall, prior to the fair, these project animals will be harvested at Bay Packing and the attributes of each that can result in a satisfying eating experience for the consumer will be evaluated.

In an effort to aid our youth in marketing the meat that results from their project, and also provide an opportunity for consumers to purchase freezer lamb and pork for their consumption at home, we are Continue reading

Applications Accepted for 2020 Barrow and Lamb MQP until May 1

Entries – or perhaps, more appropriately applications for entry – for the 2020 Fairfield County Jr. Fair Barrow and Lamb MQP programs are now being accepted by the OSU Extension office. To be considered for a spot in either the 2020 Barrow or Lamb MQP contests, an application along with an essay not to exceed 300 words must be postmarked or received in the Extension office by the end of business on May 1, 2020. Until concerns for the coronavirus pandemic subside and Ohio’s Extension offices reopen, in addition to mailing applications to:

OSU Extension, Fairfield County
831 College Avenue, Suite D
Lancaster, OH 43130

This year, applications may also be emailed to Stacy Hicks at hicks.686@osu.edu

Barrows will be harvested and processed at Bay Packing in Fairfield County. In order to accommodate such a large harvest and process the pork in a timely fashion, participants or those who have purchased the freezer pork from the participants, must agree to pick up their fresh, frozen pork prior to the Fair at a time yet to be announced. Cured product, such as bacon or ham, will be available for pick-up at a time yet to be determined after the Fair.

Lambs will also be harvested at Bay Packing. Likewise with the Continue reading

Beef Barn Sponsor Provides Mulch Bedding!

Thanks to Aaron Bickle for sponsoring the mulch bedding for the beef barn!

When it was announced last spring that beef exhibitors at this year’s Fairfield County Fair would need to bring their own bedding, the Directors of Fairfield County Cattlemen’s Association went to work in an effort to secure a sponsor for the barn, including the mulch bedding. Today, the Cattlemen are pleased to announce that Aaron Bickle of Bickle Insurance Services has generously agreed to be the sponsor of the Beef Barn for the 2019 Fairfield County Fair, and provide free mulch bedding for each exhibitor!

The Cattlemen have made arrangements for the mulch to be delivered to the Fairgrounds and the Fair Board has agreed to have the mulch bedding placed into the beef barn by mid week, prior to the Fair. However, in order to provide the mulch, the Cattlemen and the Beef Show Superintendents need to know how many head each exhibitor or club plans to house at the Fair.

In order that stalling assignments can be made, and to receive the free mulch and it be placed in the barn prior to the fair, each exhibitor’s advisor was asked to respond by September 9th to the Sr. Fair Board office with how many beef animals they actually plan to house at the fair. Open class entries that might be housed with their club in addition to Jr. Fair entries should also be included.

The Beef Barn Sponsor, Mr. Aaron Bickle, maintains Bickle Insurance Services offices in Athens, Belpre, New Lexington, McConnelsville and St. Clairsville, offering commercial, personal and farm & crop insurance. If exhibitors would like to thank Mr. Bickle for his generous sponsorship of the Beef Barn and mulch bedding for the 2019 Fair, letters or cards may be addressed to:

Mr. Aaron Bickle, Bickle Insurance Services
167 S. Kennebec Ave.
McConnelsville, OH 43756

Marketing, the Conclusion to Every Great Youth Meat Animal Project!

The Kraft’s from Bay Food Market and Bay Packing have been long time supporters of Jr. Fair project sales. Hear what Karen has to say about which projects she chooses to bid on.

Meat animal projects are raised in an effort to not only teach responsibility, but also earn money that can someday be put towards more education, or perhaps establishing a business. That’s the reason a teaching component on marketing is included with every meat animal project. It’s always enjoyable to exhibit blue ribbon animals, but the project is never complete until it’s been marketed successfully.

Recently, on a segment for the WLRY radio show The Farm Page, Karen Kraft Crutcher from Bay Food Market and Bay Packing was asked by show host Connie Smith, as a buyer who supports several county fairs, how she decided what projects to bid on at County Fair sales. You will find her response enlightening, and one that should be shared with all of our meat animal project youth as they prepare for marketing their project at the Fair in October.

Find that 2 minute conversation linked here in an M4a file or here in a wav file .

Beef Barn Bedding Update

Because of the generous donation of a Beef Barn Sponsor, mulch bedding for the 2019 Fair is being provided free to exhibitors.

The Fairfield County Cattlemen’s Association is presently finalizing plans with a Beef Barn Sponsor that will include mulch bedding being made available to all beef exhibitors free of charge at the 2019 Fairfield County Fair. More details, including announcement of the sponsor’s name, will be provided soon.

In addition, after the Jr Fair entry process is completed, a request will be made to all clubs/exhibitors asking that they confirm they would like to accept the free mulch, and how many beef animals each club expects will actually be housed and exhibited at the Fair.

In the meantime, please know that Continue reading

Jr Fair Entry Clarification including Barrow, Lamb & Beef Performance/Carcass Entries

In the event a youth tagged in multiple animals originally, each market animal that could potentially come to the Fair must be listed as an entry on the form.

Questions have resulted from the Junior Fair entry process and the requirement that any animal tagged in a youth’s name that could potentially come to the Fair must be entered on the 2019 Junior Fair Entry Form, even though all of the animals originally tagged are not likely to actually be exhibited.

An example is in the case of a youth that tagged/weighed 4 market steers or heifers in at the March 9 tag-in. When completing the 2019 Junior Fair Entry Form, if the opportunity to exhibit any of those four head at the Fair is to remain, each must be listed on the entry form with an entry in Class 7, Market Beef Animal. At the same time, if each of those four head are to also remain eligible to come to the Fair for the Beef Performance & Carcass Quality contest (aka: Carcass show) then each animal must also be Continue reading

Barrow and Lamb MQP Applications Due May 1

Please be reminded that applications to participate in the Barrow MQP and also the Lamb MQP programs are due by next Wednesday. The application along with an essay not to exceed 300 words must be postmarked by May 1, or received in the OSU Extension office before the close of business on May 1, 2019. Find the applications complete with more detail under these links:

Barrow MQP application

Lamb MQP application

Entries Accepted for 2019 Barrow and Lamb MQP until May 1

Entries – or perhaps, more appropriately entitled applications for entry – for the 2019 Fairfield County Jr. Fair Barrow and Lamb MQP programs are now being accepted in the OSU Extension office. To be considered for a spot in either the 2019 Barrow or Lamb MQP, an application along with an essay not to exceed 300 words must be postmarked or received in the Extension office by the end of business on May 1, 2019.

Also new this year, the barrows will be harvested and processed at Bay Packing in Fairfield County. This new location will now allow participants to have their hams cured if they wish. However, in order to be able to accommodate such a large harvest and process the pork in a timely fashion, participants or those who have purchased the freezer pork from the participants must agree to pick up their fresh frozen pork prior to the Fair at a time yet to be announced. Cured product such as bacon or ham will be available for pick‐up at a time yet to be determined after the Fair.

As in the recent past, the lambs will also be harvested at Bay Packing. Likewise with the freezer pork, in order to be able to accommodate such a large harvest and process the lamb in a timely fashion, participants or those who have purchased the freezer lamb from the participants must agree to pick up their fresh frozen lamb prior to the Fair at a time yet to be announced.

A number of factors have contributed to these changes for the Barrow MQP program. While Continue reading