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Beef Quality Corner: Expo Cattle Working Contest Results

Livestock Update, May 2000

Bill R. McKinnon, Extension Animal Scientist, Marketing, Virginia Tech

Nine teams of 4-H and FFA members competed in the state championships of the Youth Cattle Working Contest at the Virginia Beef Expo. The year 2000 marked the first time that three regional competitions led up to the state championship at the Beef Expo on April 15 in Lexington. Nineteen local teams had competed in the regional contests held in Madison, Harrisonburg, and Dublin.

The Carroll County 4-H/FFA team won the contest. Winning team members included Randy Nester, Todd Griffin, and Richard Webb. The winning team was coached by Jim Osborne, extension agent and Phil McCroskey, student teacher at Carroll County High School. Two teams from Grayson County 4-H/FFA had identical point totals in a tie for second place. The tie was being broken on the cattle processing plan completed by the teams with the "A" team taking second and the "B" team placing third. Team members from several of the counties are involved in both FFA and 4-H and train together and hence, use the "4-H/FFA" team designation. The fourth place team was from Madison 4-H while the Tazewell 4-H/FFA "A" team placed fifth. Other teams that won the right to compete to the state championship were Orange 4-H, Spottswood FFA and two additional teams from Tazewell 4-H/FFA.

Each three-member team was required to process three head of stocker weight cattle. Products administered to the cattle included a Ralgro implant, Safeguard drench dewormer, two Double Barrel fly tags, a 20/20 Vision with Spur vaccination, and a Bovi Shield 4 vaccination. Before the cattle were processed, team members completed a cattle processing map which required members to interpret product label information. Completion of the processing map accounted for 20% of the possible score. Teams were also judged on the manner in which they handled the cattle and products. The time taken to process the cattle accounted for 10% of the possible score. Preparation for the contest requires team members to learn about cattle handling, implants, vaccine preparation and administration along with a health dose of beef quality assurance.

Dr. Allen Strecker, local veterinarian, Rodney Leech, extension agent, and Scott Buchanan, Virginia Tech Animal and Poultry Science student served as contest judges.

Contest sponsors included Pfizer Animal Health, Intervet, Bayer Animal Health, Schering Plough, and Cowco handling equipment. Perry Huffman and Charlie Potter of Rockbridge County provided the cattle for the contest. Fort Dodge, Tucker Livestock, Wayne Shifflett, and Andy Cullip also provided support to the three regional contests.

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