Rainy River 4-H beef makes the grade


Freezers across the District are bursting with some of the best beef around, from the 4-H auction during last month’s Emo Fair. And now, the grades are in.

Judge Darren Carvey and his wife Shannon made the trek from Manitoba to grade the beef raised by the local 4-H steer clubs, and several volunteers were able to get the steers processed in just two days.

Kim Jo Bliss is thankful for all the support of the volunteers and judges who made the event possible, and is especially grateful for the support of the community.

“The support we receive from our community is amazing and we are one of the most fortunate groups in all of Ontario,” she said.

This year’s group of cattle all earned a minimum of AAA grading, with Aynsley Teeple earning a Prime grading for her steer.

“As you can see from our grade sheet we had an excellent group of steers,” said Bliss. “The kids and animals just continue to improve each year. We are lucky to have great volunteers and mentors for our program and as well great Rainy River Raised cattle.”

Rail grade pricing grids are used to determine carcass price in federal and some provincial meat plants. This is usually a complex calculation of grade vs. yield, with the greatest discounts for lower yield at yield 4 to 5, and the greatest discounts for grades lower than AAA, according to judge Darren Carvey. A carcass sold at rail grade will be assessed by both yield (size of rib eye vs. fat cover) and grade (marbling) with also considerations of superior marbling within that grade. All the carcasses this year fell within the AAA grade and from Yield 1 to 3, so he ranked the carcasses in order of marbling within the AAA grade, as well as consideration for yield and shape of the rib eye. The assessment of marbling is based on the amount, size and distribution of fat particles or deposits across the cut surface of the rib eye, he said. Although rail grade prices are not discounted much within the top three yield classes, 1, 2, and 3, for this purpose a similarly marbled beef will place higher if it has a lower yield

“All of the carcasses were well finished with good meat texture and no dark cutters. It was difficult to differentiate between these excellent carcasses,” he said.

This year’s top finishers, including judge comments, were:

First: Aynsley Teeple – This carcass was the only one to make Prime this year. It was also a Yield 2, with a good shape of rib eye and muscling.

Second: Aaron Bujold – This had the next most marbling with a good yield.

Third: Bradley Teeple – This carcass had less of the large marbling deposits than some others, but had more marbling sites with good distribution (no blank areas).

Fourth: Matt Wilson – Slightly less marbled than some others, but it has good distribution and a yield of 1 so there would be less trim in the cut room.

“All the carcasses were so consistent,” said Carvey. “I did attempt to place them in some order from my grading notes, however the middle group could easily be interchanged. The carcasses that placed lower had less marbling, or if they were well marbled had lower yields.”

4-H member Grade Yield Weight

Aynsley Teeple Prime 2 951.5

Aaron Bujold AAA 2 864

Bradley Teeple AAA 2 886

Matt Wilson AAA 1 708.5

Tayah Badiuk AAA 2 828

Carenna Haw AAA 2 974

Caleb Peters AAA 2 719.5

Logan Teeple AAA 2 794

Andrea Schram AAA 2 864