Thursday, August 01, 2013

Steers of 4-H’ers Evaluated by Meat Scientist July 29

Contact: Eldon Cole, livestock specialist
Tel: (417) 466-3102

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Six 4-H members in Lawrence County and their family and friends learned, “what was under the hides of their steers” on July 29. The six steers were evaluated on the rail by Dr. Bryon Wiegand, a meat scientist with University of Missouri.

“These steers had been on-feed since February 2 under the watchful eyes of the 4-H boys and girls,” said Eldon Cole, a livestock specialist with University of Missouri Extension.

During the 169 day feeding period, the six steers averaged 3.56 pounds per day gain with a range of 2.51 to 4.82 pounds per day.  The ending weights averaged 1328 pounds with the range going from 1245 to 1560 pounds.

The steers were slaughtered at Cloud’s Meats in Carthage and Wiegand did the objective measuring of fat thickness, ribeye area and the subjective estimate of intramuscular fat (marbling) and kidney, pelvic, heart fat.

With this data, Wiegand calculated a carcass quality and yield grade.  These are the two grades put on cattle to establish their value when harvested.

“The carcasses were on display, along with pictures of them at the beginning and end of the program.  Wiegand praised the project for its practical approach of stressing more than showing an animal in the ring and not getting a chance to find its real value in the carcass,” said Cole.

The carcasses ran the gamut in both yield and quality grades.  Yield grades go from 1 (very lean, high retail yield) to a 5 (extremely fat and wasty).  Among the six steers, one calculated a 1.46 Yield with only 0.3 inch of fat over the rib and a 16.2 square inch ribeye.  His ribeye only had a Slight 30 marbling score making his Quality grade a Select minus.  The owner was Atley Kleinman, Wentworth.  He was an Angus-Charolais cross.

A contrast to the above steer was a Red Angus, owned by Dallas Kleiboeker, Stotts City.  His Yield Grade was a 4.96 due to having 0.95 inch of rib fat and only an 11.0 square inch ribeye.  His quality grade was a Choice plus, almost Prime, with a marbling score of Moderate 80.

“Wiegand told the audience that they should not make drastic adjustments to their program based on the observation on one animal.  He added that markets do change seasonally, with supply and be cautious about selecting maximums for carcass traits,” said Cole.

After the carcasses were evaluated, Andy Cloud demonstrated the breaking down of one side of a carcass into the wholesale and some retail cuts.  One, one-inch rib steak from each steer will be sent to Columbia for fat and tenderness testing.

This was the second year of the 4-H project in Lawrence County.

Other members in the project were Ashley Bailey, Mt. Vernon, Rachel Callison, Verona, Samantha Schnake and Donell Kleiboeker both from Stotts City.  Project leader was John Kleiboeker. The project will wrap up in September when all the costs and expenses are computed to determine the “profit,” if any, for the year’s effort.

Persons interested in learning more may contact the Lawrence County Extension Center at (417) 466-3102.

PHOTOS AVAILABLE:  The direct links to these photos for use with this story are and and

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