Friday evening at the Angelina County Fair is the market steer show. Perhaps one of the most top events that is attended by the public, kids from 9 to 18 years old will lead steers by halter onto the floor of the Expo Center starting at 5 pm.
Three brothers from Hudson will be entering the area that night carrying on a family tradition. Cason (14 years old), Eli (12), and Riley (10) are the sons of Codie and Kody Jenkins of Hudson. Like their parents, these boys are raising and showing livestock at their local county fair as a part of their developing years.
Sponsored by First Bank and Trust, the Market Steer division has 41 steers entered. After all the steers are weighed in on Thursday evening, the superintendent will break the steers into 5 classes based upon weight.
Steers at our County fair are judged solely on their carcass merit. Breeds and/ or hair color is not considered in the division of classes. Taken even further, all hair must be trimmed to no more than ¼ inch.
Cason Jenkins, age 14, has participated in Angelina County Fair for 6 years. He is showing a predominantly Maine-Anjou steer and a Brahman heifer this year. The Maine-Anjou breed originated in France over a century ago and is known as a large framed beef breed.
The Brahman breed is a cross of tropical bred cattle that was officially developed in the US. Brahman cattle are known, among other things, for being well adapted to hot, humid environments. Folks unfamiliar with cattle breeds will easily recognize this breed with their grey hair, long ears, and prominent hump.
Eli Jenkins, age 12, has participated in the Fair for 4 years. He is showing an AOB heifer this year. AOB is shorthand for All Other Breeds. A combination of several breeds, this category of cattle doesn’t fit into any standard breed designation but have desirable traits.
Riley Jenkins, age 10, has participated in the Fair for 2 years. He is showing a Charolais cross steer and a Boer goat this year. The Charolais is also originated from continental Europe, again the country of France. This large framed, meaty breed is easily recognized by its white hair.
Judging of steers and other market animals focuses on the market readiness of the entry. Judges will place a tremendous emphasis on two main areas: muscling and condition.
Looking at the rear quarters, properly call the “round”, the judge will look for a muscularity that is wide and extends down towards the hocks. He will also look down the top of the steer, looking for a thickness across the loin.
Indeed, from the loin back are the primal cuts. The most tender and sought after steaks come from that area. These include the tenderloin, filet mignon, strip, porterhouse, T-bone, and the sirloin steak.
Next you’ll see the judge feel over the ribs and down the back for the proper amount of fat or “condition”. There needs to be a proper amount of fat covering these areas. Too little or too much and the exhibit will place lower in the class.
Cason, Eli, Riley, and the other exhibitors in the market steer division will compete on Friday, Feb 27 at 5 pm on the floor of the Exposition Center.
For more information about this year’s Fair, go to www.angelinacountyfair.com