THAYER -- Clintan Caldwell, a senior member of the Thayer High School Future Farmers of America Chapter recently competed and placed well at the Missouri State Fair Growth and Quality Barrow Classic.
The show is the only state fair in the United States that follows the entries all the way through to the dinner table.
This year's contest began in April with University of Missouri Extension agents weighing 270 pigs all across the state to begin the average daily gain portion of the contest. All participants are required to complete Pork Quality Assurance Testing. They were re-weighed Aug. 8 at the fair to determine average daily gain. At that time they were also scanned for backfat, loin eye area and percent of lean meat by Missouri Swine Improvement Federation Certified Scan Tech Rick Disshoest.
In the on-foot show, judge Gary Ledger of Willamsburg, Iowa, placed the classes and assigned a live score to each hog.
The hogs were then loaded and transported to Tyson Foods Processing Plant in Columbus Junction, Iowa, for processing.
Dr. Marcia Shannon, meat science professor brought a fresh loin from each carcass back to the University Extension of Missouri Meat Science Lab for meat quality processing.
The loins were tested for juiciness, color, tenderness and marbling. Each area representing 15 percent of the final score.
According to Shann Caldwell, Clintan's father, the final index was achieved by the following formula, 20 percent average daily gain/lean, 20 percent live score and 15 percent each for minolta, ph shear and marbling.
One hundred ten hogs passed the test. Caldwell Durocs of Thayer had three hogs qualify for final placing.
Their 274 pound purebred duroc barrow gained 1.89 pounds per day, had .39 backfat and was 17th overall for meat quality. The 242 pounds crossbred entry measured .34 backfat which was fourth best of the 110 head of pigs. All three entries received packer premiums of five to seven cents per pound for leanness.
Caldwell enjoys participating at several fairs and representing Oregon County and the Caldwell family farm.
He completed his Missouri State Fair experience by winning the FFA gold and bronze group ribbons in field crops and vegetables. His foxtail millett was one of only three gold ribbons given of 14 entries.
Dustin Braschler is the Thayer FFA advisor and supervises all the FFA members Supervised Agriculture Experience projects.
Clintan is the son of Shann and Marva Caldwell of Thayer.