Each spring, Meat Science faculty and students are very busy collecting carcass data from the steers, barrows, and lambs that are shown at major and local shows. San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo are the two major shows where we collect carcass data with the steers harvested at Sam Kane Beef Processors, the barrows and lambs from Houston harvested at the Rosenthal Meat Center, and the barrows from San Antonio harvested at the Rosenthal Meat Center and the lambs harvested at Texas Tech University.
The major effort to begin these carcass shows began in the mid-1980s when there was a concern by the livestock shows that the end-products of the animals that were exhibited did not fit what the marketplace was demanding. Information from the initial carcass shows supported that assumption, especially for cattle where there were a number carcasses that were dark cutters, had excessive carcass weights, exhibited low marbling scores, and had insufficient fat cover. Today’s carcass results are much more in-line with commercial production although carcasses from these outstanding animals will be more muscular and leaner than the average beef, pork or lamb carcass.
Our students get a chance to participate in the harvesting process when animals are processed on campus, and they help gather carcass data from these carcasses, too. Carcass information is shared with the shows, exhibitors, and the general public. Watch for the results of the 2014 spring shows at the Aggiemeat website.