The Ohio State University Meat Laboratory harvested and processed the Ohio State Fair Champion and Reserve Champion lambs for each of the Junior Fair breed winners. The Open Class Champion and Reserve Champion were also harvested and processed. Once the animal carcasses were processed, Department of Animal Sciences’ faculty members Dr. Steven Moeller and Dr. Lyda Garcia evaluated the carcasses based on lean quantity and quality following U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and industry standards. Those results are then given to Fair participants.
According to Dr. Moeller, “The relationship that the Meat Laboratory has with the Ohio State Fair is very important. It allows us to show the Junior Fair participants the results of all of their hard work. It also gives us an opportunity to demonstrate what we do at OSU for students who may be interested in attending Ohio State.”
Twenty-two (20 Junior Fair and two Open Class) lamb carcasses were evaluated. USDA quality grades can range from Prime (the highest) to Good (the lowest). Further differentiation is provided with High, Average, and Low grades. All of the Ohio State Fair carcasses were graded at Average Choice or above. After grading, the carcasses were prepared to be sent to the buyers for cutting.
The Meat Laboratory also harvested and processed all of the animals from the 2017 Ohio State Fair Sale of Champions Livestock Auction. After processing, the meat was sent to the buyers, where many utilized the meat for charitable purposes.
“There aren’t many facilities that can process the number and variety of animals that we do without interrupting their daily processes. We’re very fortunate to have the staff and facilities to accommodate and further our partnership with the Ohio State Fair,” said Dr. Moeller.