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Starting Your 4-H Year Off on the Right Hoof


- 4-H Beef Project Webinars

Start your 4-H year off on the right hoof by joining 4-H Alberta to hear about options within the beef project, selecting your beef project animal and how to start your selected animal on feed. We are thrilled to have Barry Yaremcio, Beef & Forage Specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Cameron Olson, past Alberta 4-H'er and pursuing a PhD in Animal Science at the University of Alberta join us and share their knowledge.

Start Your 4-H Year Off on the Right Hoof

Start your 4-H year off on the right hoof by joining 4-H Alberta to hear about options within the beef project, selecting your beef project animal and how to start your selected animal on feed. We are thrilled to have Barry Yaremcio, Beef & Forage Specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Cameron Olson, past Alberta 4-H'er and pursuing a PhD in Animal Science at the University of Alberta join us and share their knowledge.

Start Your 4-H Year Off on the Right Hoof - The Sequel

In part two of our three part series Barry Yaremcio, beef & forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, again lends us his expertise and delves into how to increase your projects' feed intake. In addition, Delores Peters, manager of the Animal Health and Surveillance Unit, with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry will join us to talk about medically important antimicrobial use changes that come in to effect on December Hint: You WILL want to know what this means for you and your vet-client relationship.

Start Your 4-H Year Off on the Right Hoof - The Finale

In part three of our three part series Barry Yaremcio, beef & forage specialist with Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, again lends us his expertise and will talk about managing gains (or lack of) and what it takes to finish your steer. 4-H Alberta will also share important information and tips to ensure a successful Show and Sale on your Achievement Day.


4-H Biosecurity Planning Information


4-H Biosecurity Planning Information printer version

Ready to move your animals out? Don't bring diseases in!

Biosecurity refers to practices designed to prevent, reduce or eliminate the introduction and spread of diseases into a herd, between herds and between species. If you’re planning on bringing animals from your farm to an event where other animals will be present, one of the first things that should be discussed is biosecurity.

Biosecurity starts with education. Everyone involved in the event needs to be informed of the importance of biosecurity prior to any animal movement. We can only make good decisions when we have knowledge about the issue. Below is a checklist of best practices to follow prior to, during and after the event; these practices apply to different species including cattle, sheep, goats, horses, and others:

Prior to the event:  

  • Ensure that animals are healthy and fit for transport. Unhealthy animals can be a source of disease to other animals. In addition, they are more likely to become ill. Unhealthy animals, regardless of the cause, should stay home.
  • Just like humans, animals should be current with their vaccinations.
  • When in doubt about taking animals to the event, ask from advice well in advance of the event.

During the event:  

  • Trailers used for animal transportation should be cleaned inside and out between uses. Best practice if sharing trailers with others is to empty, scrape, wash and disinfect them between different animal groups.
  • To prevent the transfer of disease from other animals, limit the sharing of equipment such as buckets, shovels, halters, lead ropes, etc. between exhibitors.  Best practice is to have your own water troughs and buckets.
  • If a peer is helping you, ask them to wash their hands and to wear clean clothes (you may wish to provide a set of your farm coveralls or a spare change of clothes) prior to handling your animals. Remind them to wash their hands before returning to their own animals.
  • If you handled others’ animals, best practice is to wash your hands and change coveralls and boots before going back to your animals.
  • Minimize animal stress by keeping them cool, well bedded and comfortable. Offer high quality feed and water with minimum changes from what they are used to.
  • If an animal becomes ill, immediately consult the event’s veterinarian or your own.
  • If you’re caring for animals at the event, avoid doing animal-related chores at home during this time. If this is not possible, do chores at home first wearing clothing and footwear that stays home. Animals left at home should not be in contact with clothes and footwear used at the show.

After the event:  

  • Clean and disinfect all items before taking them home. This includes, trailers, tools, equipment, and anything that could have had animal contact.

  • Properly dispose of unused bedding, hay, and feed after the show according to the event’s recommendations. Do not bring them home, unless they stayed in your trailer and never entered the barn.

  • A best practice is to transport your animals in your own vehicle and/or trailer.

  • Whenever possible avoid hauling animals from other farms in your trailer. When this is not possible, best practice is to empty, scrape, wash and disinfect your trailer before using it with your animals.

  • After arriving home, keep show animals in a designated isolation pen away from other animals and pets for 3 weeks.

  • Care for isolated animals last. Use designated clothing and footwear as well as tools and equipment to care for these animals. Wash your hands before and after caring for these animals.

  • Check isolated animals every day for any signs of illness.

  • Contact a veterinarian immediately if you observe anything unusual in any animal.

 For further information checkout:

Canadian Beef Cattle On-Farm Biosecurity Standard

Biosecurity in Alberta

Source material for this article



Feeding and Management of Your 4-H Beef Project Animal this is a webinar and will take you YouTube to view

Dun Rite Stock and Stables Clinic Information has experienced clinicians that can present a wide range of informative clinics --



Learning to do by doing looks different for every member. This is why 4-H Alberta provides members with so many different options for how a project can be taken.

Each opportunity listed below offers a different approach to project material, with members being given the ability to “create” a project, sample a smorgasbord of projects, experience 4-H in another province, state or country!


4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition Guidelines

Deadline Dec 15

Competition Guidelines

Apply on line

Goal: The goal of this competition is to find the carcass that provides the highest quality beef for a restaurant. 

Requirements:  A 4-H member in good standing, located and registered in the Province of Alberta.  All Policy 6.05 Rules and Regulations must be followed, in addition to the following:

  • Carcass Steers must be weighed in, tagged with 4-H* and CCIA Tag, and registered with your club by December 1, 2018. Note: 4-H tag means ID tag used to identify as a 4-H project

  • Completed online program registration (including required animal information and $75 registration fee) and 3 photos (front, left side, right side) submitted to by December 1st, 2018.

  • *NEW* Harvest sites information will be provided at the time of registration. Please indicate your preferred harvest location. These will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

  • The animal must be “Tie Broke” for live evaluation. All harvest dates are tentatively scheduled within a 2 week window in early-mid June 2019. Exact harvest dates and locations will be available after October 15th, 2018

  • Members must agree to deliver the animal to one of the Abattoir’s selected by the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Committee on the date specified, as selected at registration.   Harvest delivery time is approximately June 12th, 2019. Abattoir availability was selected around local Achievement Day needs.

  • Members must provide a final picture of member and animal on day of delivery to the Abattoir

  • Provide a PowerPoint presentation about their project, deadline will be communicated in conjunction with carcass viewing at the harvest locations

  • For regions, districts and local Achievement Day Sale committees that allow replacement of animals, the following applies. Local level rules must be adhered to.

    • If the entry into the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition is a companion animal to a Market Steer Live Project and is used to replace that project; the entry is cancelled and fee is forfeited.  If the Market Steer Live is deemed to be unruly, the member may switch with the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass entry until February 15, 2019, provided both steers are registered as a 4-H project by December 1st, 2018.  Members may only switch once and the member will be required to provide proof from their Show and Sale Committee to within 1 week of the approved switch.

Provincial Carcass Steer Competition Point Distribution:

Criteria #1:  Grading Chart – Marbling is the amount of intramuscular fat embedded in the Ribeye.  This measurement provides the grade for the carcass (Chart #2).


Chart #2: Grading Chart – Marbling

Maximum Pts. (35)



AAA (3) Moderate


AAA (2) Modest


AAA (1) Small






**Any Carcass not grading within the “A” class or Prime will be eliminated from the Competition. **

Criteria #2:  Lean Yield Score – Lean Yield is an estimation of the amount of red meat on a carcass.  Lean Yield is determined by the amount of muscling and back fat on each animal. Chart #1 will be utilized for scoring:


Chart # 1: Lean Yield Score

Yield Grade


Maximum Pts. (25)

Yield 1

63% or more


Yield 1

62 – 62.9%


Yield 1

61 – 61.9%


Yield 1

60 – 60.9%


Yield 1

59 – 59.9%


Yield 2

58 – 58.9%


Yield 2

57 – 57.9%


Yield 2

56 – 56.9%


Yield 2

55 – 55.9%


Yield 2

54 – 54.9%


Yield 3

53.9% or less



Criteria #3:  Ribeye Size – The measurement of the “ribeye” is to meet the size requested by high end restaurants.  Measurement taken between the 12th and 13th rib, points awarded as in Chart 3. 


Chart 3: Rib Eye Square cm. (Square in.)

Maximum Pts. (20)

Less than 59 cm (9.3")


60 cm (9.3") to 69.9 cm (10.7")


70 cm (10.8") to 79.9 cm (12.3")


80 cm (12.4") to 89.9 cm (13.8")


90 cm (13.9") to 99.9 cm (15.4")


100 cm (15.5") to 109.9 cm (16.9")


110 cm (17") to 119.9 cm (18.5")


Greater than 120 cm (18.6")



Criteria #4:  Fat Thickness – Maximum points will be awarded for 4-6 mm of Fat Thickness. Other Points awarded as per Chart #4.  Carcasses not meeting the minimum fat requirement are removed from the competition. 

Chart #4: Fat/mm



Maximum Pts. (10)

3 mm





































Criteria #5:  Warm Carcass Weight – Weight of Carcass after it is dressed. 

Chart #5: Carcass Weight – Option #2

Maximum Pts. (10)

599 lbs. and below


601 - 625 lbs.


626 – 650 lbs.


651 - 700 lbs.


701 - 725 lbs.


726 – 750 lbs.


751 - 775 lbs.


776 - 800 lbs.


801 - 850 lbs.


851 lbs. and above



Criteria #6:  Muscling – A subjective score based on the assessment of muscling over the rump and across the loin of the carcass.  Carcasses should exhibit good to excellent muscle coverage.  Chart 6 shows point allocation. 

Chart #6: Muscling Score

Maximum Pts. (4)

4 – Excellent


3 – Good – No Deficiencies


2 – Good – Some Deficiencies


1 – Deficient to Medium



Criteria #7:  Fat Colour – Fat Colour should be white for maximum points 

Chart #7: Fat Colour

Maximum Pts. (4)










Criteria #8:  Rib Eye Colour - Bright Red Colour will obtain Maximum Points.  

Chart #8: Fat Colour

Maximum Pts. (4)

Bright Red


Pale Red


Dark Red



Criteria #9a-c:  Extra Points (30)

Each member will receive ten (10) points for meeting each of the following criteria:

  • Animal Tie Broke – 10 points

- Animals must be tie broke. This means the animals need to stand quietly while tied to a fence. They DO NOT need to be broke to lead.  Animals need to have their CCIA tag visually read; therefore animals must be quiet and manageable.  The tag reader has the right to reject any animal that is deemed unruly and removed from the competition.

b) Animal Free of Tag – 10 points

-Animals need to be free of tag.  Tag is defined as matted hair with manure on legs and belly.  Fresh manure from transport is not considered to be tag.  The animal must be quiet enough for the “judge” to touch the animal.


c) Final Presentation of Animal & Record Book – 10 points

                - Tell us about your Carcass Competition Project!

                - A total of eight (8) points will be awarded for each area covered:

  • Pictures relating to your project throughout the year. Must include carcass ribeye (2 points).

  • Outline ration(s) feed- may be done through picture, text or other graphic. Must include feed conversion rate, regardless of member age. (2 points)

  • DNA Test Results- show DNA test results & highlight one aspect you learned about (2 points)       

  • What did you learn through participation in the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition? (2 points)

- Completed Record Book (verified by your leader, 2 points)

                - Please complete your carcass project record book.

- We recognize that a member may have multiple projects and there may be duplicate information between the Steer Carcass Competition Project and your Market Beef- Live Project. Should you have BOTH projects, the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass competition will accept reference to the market steer record book for the following pages: About me (p.5), About my club (p.6), Equipment Inventory (top of p. 9) note: budgeting must be completed if you are a senior member, and Record of my clubs activities (p. 22). The presentation will replace your story and clippings page. All other pages must be completed specific to your carcass project (About my beef project (p.7), project photos (p.8), budgeting (p. 9), rate of gain (p. 10), feed & other costs (p. 11-18), financial summary (p.19), and record of my project’s progress (p.20-21)).

Other Competition Notes

  • All Carcasses must be “Youthful” for Maturity
  • Rate of Gain – Will be used for information only for this competition
  • The 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Committee may require a one (1) inch “Rib Eye” steak taken from the 12 rib of each animal will be frozen when carcass is being cut and wrapped for display at the Awards Luncheon.
  • Only the left side will be graded, unless there is a bad split; then both sides will be graded and the best one taken. 
  • Tie breaking
    • Initial Tie Breaking will calculate the points on the other half carcass not graded as per Point Distribution throughout this document.  If there remains a tie, ties will be broke based on the methodology in (ii).
    • Carcass Ties after (i) above will be broke using the following criteria until the tie is broke.  The carcass with the closest to optimum will be declared the winner. 
  •  Criteria #1: Grade – Marbling  … Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (2)

  •  Criteria #2: Yield  … Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (3)

  •  Criteria #3: Ribeye Size  … Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (4)

  •  Criteria #4: Fat Thickness  … Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (5)

  •  Criteria #5: Warm Carcass Weight

Perfect Animal Score

Scoring Criteria

Maximum Score (142)

Criteria #1:  Grading - Marbling


Criteria #2:  Lean Yield Score


Criteria #3:  Ribeye Size


Criteria #4:  Fat Thickness


Criteria #5:  Warm Carcass Weight


Criteria #6:  Muscling


Criteria #7:  Fat Colour


Criteria #8:  Rib Eye Colour


Criteria #9a:  Animal Tie Broke


Criteria #9b:  Free of Tag


Criteria #9c:  Final Presentation




Credits – The Provincial Carcass Committee would like to acknowledge the work previously completed by Henry Wiegman.  His work was used as a basis for developing this competition.

For more information contact:

Alexia Hoy
4-H Specialist


Photos by 4-H Alberta. Summer Synergy 2016 in Olds, Alberta