February 16, 2021 - 9:54am -- koenig.398@osu.edu

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused us to change the way we do many things in life that had become seemingly routine. Fortunately, in most cases the advances in technology have allowed many of these changes to take place almost seamlessly. The annual Junior market beef weigh-in and tagging in Fairfield County is an example.

As we continue to be surrounded by the virus, in order to tag market beef as safely as possible, yet ensure the integrity of our show, this year we will be employing a tagging process similar to that utilized by the Ohio State Fair market beef show in recent years.

Youth will be required to tag their market beef animals with a visual and EID tag (unless their calf already has an EID tag, in this case they will apply only a visual tag) and must submit a hair follicle DNA sample prior to weigh-in beginning at 8:30 a.m. on March 13, 2021. In advance, families with market beef projects will also be required to reserve a weigh-in time for the March 13 event, and only those directly involved in transporting and weighing-in calves should plan to attend . . . please, no spectators! The goal is to reduce congregation at weigh-in and minimize the transfer of paperwork. Specifically, the step-by-step process includes . . .

1) The deadline for ownership and possession of a market beef project in Fairfield County remains March 1.

2) Youth/families planning to weigh/tag-in market steers and market heifers for the 2021 Fair must submit a request for their tags on-line by completing the survey linked here before March 2, 2021. Complete only one request survey per family.

3) When requesting your tags on-line you will be asked for the first date you would like to pick up your tags and the necessary tagger(s) at the Sr. Fair office. Please order your tags at least two working days prior to your preferred date to pick them up. Senior Fair staff will then contact you to make an appointment for pick up when your tagging packets and taggers are ready. Please be reminded that the Sr. Fair office is typically open M-F from 8:30 a.m. until Noon.

4) The ‘tagging packet’ will include a combination visual numbered ear and EID tag (EID tags are sometimes also called RFID tags; radio frequency identification), and a small zip lock plastic bag for supplying a hair/DNA sample. If a calf already has an EID tag, that original tag must remain in the animal and you will not receive a new EID tag for that calf. It is a violation of Federal law to EVER remove an ‘840’ EID tag.

If your calf does not already have an EID tag, your kit for that calf will include a combo visual/EID tag.

NOTE: Tag applicators may be borrowed from the Sr. Fair Office at the time tagging packets are picked up and must be returned in a timely fashion at a time agreed upon at the time they are received. The Allflex tag company suggests that new tags not be put in an existing hole in the ear. Exhibitors needing assistance in tagging should contact their 4-H/FFA advisor for assistance.

5) Youth/families are expected to apply the required tags in the calf’s ear prior to weigh/tag-in on March 13, 2021 and submit their individual exhibitor, calf tagging, housing and County Bred, Born & Raised information on a second survey linked here before March 11, at 12 noon.

NOTE: Those participating in the Born, Bred, and Raised (B, B & R) in Fairfield County show may upload their breeder signed B, B & R form when submitting their individual calf information on-line in the second form found linked above, or must turn in their signed B, B & R in an envelope on weigh in day. A copy of the B, B & R form is linked here. Be certain all information is complete and your breeder is a member of the Fairfield County Cattlemen’s Association (FCCA). FCCA membership details may be found linked here.

6) In the second survey linked above each family will also select the time they will arrive with their calf(s) to be weighed and checked in on March 13. All tagged calves must be weighed in on March 13, 2021, at the Fairfield Cattle Company facility located at 3443 Cincinnati-Zanesville Road (S.R. 22), Lancaster.

7) By the time of tagging youth/families are also expected to submit a hair follicle DNA sample from each calf they tag in. The zip lock plastic bag for submitting this hair sample is included in each ‘tagging packet’ and can be seen in the photo above. If you’ve not done this before, see this one minute YouTube for detail on how to collect the hair sample: https://youtu.be/Upl-09ZOLF0

8) Any unused tagging packets including the tags and/or any extra EID tags must be returned to the Sr. Fair Office along with completed tagging packets that include the hair DNA sample, and details of who will be potentially exhibiting each calf. These packets may be returned at the time taggers are returned, or at weigh-in on March 13, 2021.

For more information on this new tagging and weighing process for your 2021 Fairfield County Fair market beef animals, contact Junior Fair Director Chuck Miller at: keywest100@att.net.