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February 20, 2007
Fair board approves adding market dairy beef to junior livestock sale
SUSANVILLE, California (STPNS) -- The Lassen County Fair Advisory Board approved adding market dairy beef to the Junior Livestock sale during a special meeting on Thursday, Feb. 1.
The fair sale committee also approved adding market dairy beef to the Junior Livestock sale at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 5.
During a special fair board meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 30 Lassen County Dairy Group Leader Barbara Howe and dairy group members voiced their support in adding dairy market beef to the junior sale. Members of the sale committee were also present.
Last year, Howe said a girl showed the first market dairy beef calf in the open division of the fair.
According to Fair Business Manager Melissa Holzkamp the fair created an open division class for the market dairy beef, which meant the children could show the animal, but it didn?t go to market.
By putting the dairy market beef in the junior market class, the participants will be able to market the meat.
Howe said dairy market beef, are male Holsteins and brown swift. There are other steers, such as the Angus steer, which are designed to make beef only, however, dairy cattle can be used to produce milk and beef.
After the dairy group gave its presentation, the fair board was able to ask questions and have a discussion with those present to work out the details.
During her presentation, Howe gave a history of the dairy group in Lassen County and said the dairy group is involved in community events including the Children?s Fair, holds fund-raisers, furnishes the fair-time bedding, decorates the fair barn, visits other fairs and learns about the health and care of the animals every month.
The dairy group is open to 4-H, Future Farmers of America members and independent people. Howe said this year the group has mini-moo members.
Participants learn where to buy the calves, what quality to look for, how to feed it and how to breed it.
The market dairy beef is also at its best when it is under 20 months of age because it has the best marbling, best flavor and efficiency for steaks, roasts and meat for the barbecue, Howe said.
In order to ensure the beef is market ready, Howe also proposed using an ultrasound. Last year, the first dairy beef shown in open division had an ultrasound and Howe said the dairy group would like to make it a standard process.
She said the qualified dairy judge California State University, Chico, would be able to judge the dairy market beef the same day as the dairy cows.
She also said using an ultrasound would be a good tool to use to ensure the carcasses are market ready and are the best product.
Last year, Howe said 34 steers were sold, but 14 were not market ready when they were graded.
Howe said she thought the group could work with the college who has an ultrasound machine and pay for the technician to read and give the results.
?All dairy groups will pay for the ultrasound reading of dairy market steers,? she said.
Howe said, ?Times change. Always, times are changing. With less than 2 percent of the total population in agriculture we want to offer people the opportunity to experience the raising of animals so they will better understand where their food comes from and appreciate the American farmer.?
She also shared points she said were interesting including not only do dairy producers make high quality milk but also contribute quality beef around the dinner table. In New York, Howe said, like regular beef, a man sells his dairy market beef online.
She also showed a video promoting the quality of dairy market beef.
Lassen County Dairy Co-leader Daylene Hoaganson handed out dairy beef for the board members to taste.
President of the 4-H Council JT Struthers said it all comes down to providing an opportunity to the children.
Prior to voting during its Feb. 1 meeting, the board reviewed a draft of the criteria for the Market Dairy steers in the premium book.
A lot of the criteria were based upon information Howe gave the fair staff.
The criteria include:
? Market dairy steers ? less than two years of age must weigh 1,000 pounds or more.
?Market dairy beef must have proof of ownership and a ?Bill of Sale,? and ?Brand Inspection Slip? at time of fair weigh-in.
?The market dairy steers are limited to 18 months of age or younger.
?Market dairy steer exhibitors have the option to enter the market beef showmanship class.
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