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Jefferson County Cattlemen to host new carcass challenge at fair

The Jefferson County Cattlemen are looking forward to an active year after just finishing one where most of their events were postponed.

The organization announced it will host a new type of competition at the Greater Jefferson County Fair this year, a carcass challenge. It will involve doing an ultrasound scan on cattle and weighing them to see how efficiently the animals put on mass and which one created the best carcass. There will be prize money for the winners.

“We want to help educate kids on what makes a productive beef animal for real world purposes,” said Jefferson County Cattlemen President Brandon Ledger.

The event will coincide with the 4-H and FFA cattle show on the Saturday of the fair, which will be June 26. The cattlemen will host an open cattle show the following day on Sunday, June 27.

Ledger said the cattlemen are looking for ways to revamp its youth outreach program.

“If anybody has any suggestions, we’re all ears,” he said.

The cattlemen often grill at community events where residents have a chance to eat locally produced beef. Ledger said the cattlemen are planning their summer meeting for Friday, July 16, which will last that afternoon and evening. A few guest speakers will address the cattlemen, including keynote speaker Trent Loos, who will discuss advocating for the ag industry. Another guest speaker will touch on different marketing options.

The event is open to the public, and anyone with ties to agriculture and the beef industry or an interest in learning about it is welcome to come. The cattlemen will serve a rib-eye steak sandwich meal, which will be free to members of the cattlemen’s association, and $20 for non-members.

Ledger said the cattlemen hope to return to having their annual banquet in the winter, which had to be canceled this past winter due to the pandemic. It’s normally at the end of January. The group usually gives out a lifetime achievement award to someone in the beef industry, and it’s a good opportunity to review what the group has accomplished in the prior year.

“We usually have a live auction to fund raise, and a good meal, too,” Ledger said.

Fair food is one of the main attractions to the Greater Jefferson County Fair, such as that sold by the Jefferson County Cattlemen seen here. This year, the cattlemen will host a new competition at the fair, a carcass challenge. (File)
The Jefferson County Cattlemen served beef kebabs to the cyclists who visited Fairfield on RAGBRAI in 2019. The cattlemen are looking forward to doing more grilling events after a year in which most of their events were postponed. (File)
The Jefferson County Cattlemen ride in on a horse-drawn covered wagon during a previous fair parade in Fairfield. (Andy Hallman/The Union)