4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition

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How does 4-H Alberta programs impact the 4-H youth? We have available for you to review the impact report on Steer Carcass Competition Impact Report.

Competition Guidelines

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4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition Impact Report 2019

Goal: The goal of this competition is to find the carcass that provides the highest quality beef for a restaurant. 

A 4-H member in good standing, located and registered in the Province of Alberta. All Policy 6.05 Rules and Regulations must be followed, in addition to the following:

  • Carcass Steers must be weighed in, tagged with 4-H* and CCIA Tag, and registered with your club by December 1, 2019. Note: 4-H tag means Visual  ID tag used to identify as a 4-H project
  • DNA tail hair samples are to be taken and submitted to Neogen.  Results will be returned approximately 3 weeks.  A webinar is being scheduled in 2020 to discuss how to interpret DNA Results.
  • Completed online program registration (including required animal information and $75 registration fee) and 3 photos (front, left side, right side) submitted to alexia.hoy@gov.ab.ca by December 1st, 2019.
  • *NEW* Harvest sites information are provided at the time of registration. Please indicate your preferred harvest location. These will be filled on a first come, first served basis. The organizing committee reserves the right to cancel any location if there are not at least 5 animals registered at that location.  If more than 15 animals are booked at one abattoir, members may be asked to switch to an alternative date.  These changes will be made known by December 15, 2019.


Delivery Harvest Grading
H & M Meats

Grande Prairie

June 2 June 3 June 4
Deerview Meats


June 3 June 4 June 5
Meat Chop


June 8 June 9 June 10
Loves Custom Meats


June 9 June 10 June 11
Forestburg Meat Processing


June 10 June 11 June 12
Sangudo Meats


June 11 June 12 June 13
  • The animal must be “Tie Broke” for live evaluation. All harvest dates are scheduled within a 2-3 week window in early-mid June 2020.
  • Members must agree to deliver the animal to one of the Abattoir’s selected by the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Committee on the date specified, as selected at registration.
  • Members must provide a final picture of member and animal on day of delivery to the Abattoir
  • Provide a PowerPoint presentation about their project, deadline will be communicated in December with Awards Location.
  • For regions, districts and local Achievement Day Sale committees that allow replacement of animals, the following applies. Local level rules must be adhered to.
    • If the entry into the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition is a companion animal to a Market Steer Live Project and is used to replace that project; the entry is cancelled and fee is forfeited. If the Market Steer Live is deemed to be unruly, the member may switch with the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass entry until February 15, 2020, provided both steers are registered as a 4-H project by December 1st, 2019. Members may only switch once and the member will be required to provide proof from their Show and Sale Committee to alexia.hoy@gov.ab.ca within 1 week of the approved switch.

Provincial Carcass Steer Competition Point Distribution:

**New** – Due to the harmonized grading system between Canada and USA, each side of the carcass will be graded for Criteria 1 and Criteria 2 and the best score used in point calculation.

Criteria #1: Grading Chart – Marbling is the amount of intramuscular fat embedded in the Ribeye. This measurement provides the grade for the carcass (Chart #1).

Chart #1: Grading Chart – Marbling Maximum Pts. (35)
Prime 35
AAA (3) Moderate 30-34
AAA (2) Modest 25-29
AAA (1) Small 20-24
AA 15-19
A 10-14

**Any Carcass not grading within the “A” class or Prime will be eliminated from the Competition. **


Criteria #2: Retail Cut Yield Percentage Score – Retail Cut Yield is an estimation of closely trimmed (0.5-inch fat or less), boneless retail cuts from the major four primal cuts (round, loin, rib and chuck) derived from a carcass.

Chart #2 will be utilized for scoring:

Chart #2: Retail Cut Yield

Yield Grade Range Maximum Pts. (25)
Yield 1 53.3% or more 25
Yield 1 52.3 – 53.2% 21
Yield 2 51.2 – 52.2% 17
Yield 2 50.2 – 51.1% 15
Yield 3 48.9 – 50.1% 12
Yield 3 47.6 – 48.8% 10
Yield 4 46.3 – 47.5% 9
Yield 4 45.1 – 46.2% 7
Yield 5 45% or less 5


Criteria #3: Ribeye Size – The measurement of the “ribeye” is to meet the size requested by high end restaurants. Measurement taken between the 12th and 13th rib, points awarded as in Chart 3.

Chart #3: Rib Eye Square cm. (Square in.) Maximum Pts. (20)
Less than 59 cm (9.3″) 5
60 cm (9.3″) to 69.9 cm (10.7″) 10
70 cm (10.8″) to 79.9 cm (12.3″) 15
80 cm (12.4″) to 89.9 cm (13.8″) 20
90 cm (13.9″) to 99.9 cm (15.4″) 15
100 cm (15.5″) to 109.9 cm (16.9″) 10
110 cm (17″) to 119.9 cm (18.5″) 5
Greater than 120 cm (18.6″) 3


Criteria #4: Warm Carcass Weight – Weight of Carcass after it is dressed.

Chart #4: Carcass Weight – Option #2 Maximum Pts. (15)
599 lbs. and below 0
601 – 625 lbs. 3
626 – 650 lbs. 5
651 – 700 lbs. 7
701 – 725 lbs. 10
726 – 750 lbs. 15
751 – 775 lbs. 10
776 – 800 lbs. 7
801 – 850 lbs. 5
851 lbs. and above 0


Criteria #5: Fat Thickness – Maximum points will be awarded for 5-6 mm of Fat Thickness. Other Points awarded as per Chart #4. Carcasses not meeting the minimum fat requirement are removed from the competition.

Chart #5: Fat/mm Points Fat/mm Maximum Pts. (10)
3 mm 6 12mm 2
4mm 9 13mm 1
5mm 10 14mm 0
6mm 10 15mm -1
7mm 9 16mm -2
8mm 6 17mm -3
9mm 4 18mm -4
10mm 3 19mm -5
11mm 2 20mm -6


Criteria #6: Muscling – A subjective score based on the assessment of muscling over the rump and across the loin of the carcass. Carcasses should exhibit good to excellent muscle coverage. Chart 6 shows point allocation.

Chart #6: Muscling Score Maximum Pts. (5)
4 – Excellent 5
3 – Good – No Deficiencies 2
2 – Good – Some Deficiencies 1
1 – Deficient to Medium 0


Criteria #7: Fat Colour – Fat Colour should be white for maximum points

Chart #7: Fat Colour Maximum Pts. (5)
WW 2
W 1
Yellow 0


Criteria #8: Rib Eye Colour – Bright Red Colour will obtain Maximum Points.

Chart #8: Fat Colour Maximum Pts. (5)
Bright Red 5
Pale Red 2
Dark Red 0


Criteria #9a-c: Extra Points (30)
Each member will receive ten (10) points for meeting eachof the following criteria:

  • Animal Tie Broke – 10 points
    • Animals must be tie broke. This means the animals need to stand quietly while tied to a fence. Animals need to have their CCIA tag visually read; therefore animals must be quiet and manageable for the safety of all members and volunteers. The tag reader has the right to reject any animal that is deemed unruly and removed from the competition.
    • Steer that can be tied, led, touched all over and tag read by hand – 10 points
    • Steer that is quiet when tied, allow tag to be read by hand; but will not allow others to touch – 5 points
    • Steer that is wild and cannot read tag by hand –  0 points ***Note*** The steer will be disqualified if the judge deems it to be unruly due to safety reasons
    • Live Judges will use their discretion when awarding points
  • Animal Free of Tag – 10 points
  • Animals need to be free of tag. Tag is defined as matted hair with manure on legs and belly. Fresh manure from transport is not considered to be tag. The animal must be quiet enough for the “judge” to touch the animal.
    • Animal that is clean of “tag” and tidy – 10 points
    • Animal that is clean but has “tag” on belly or not easily seen – 5 points
    • Animal that has noticeable “tag” over all of its body – 0 points

Criteria #9a-c: Extra Points (30)
Final Presentation of Animal & Record Book – 10 points

  • Tell us about your Carcass Competition Project!
  • A total of eight (8) points will be awarded for each area covered:
    • Pictures relating to your project throughout the year. Must include carcass ribeye (2 points).
    • Outline ration(s) feed- may be done through picture, text or other graphic.

Must include feed conversion rate, regardless of member age. (2 points)

    • DNA Test Results– show DNA test results & highlight one aspect you learned about (2 points)
    • What did you learn through participation in the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Competition? (2 points)
  • Completed Record Book (verified by your leader, 2 points)
    • Please complete your carcass project record book.
    • We recognize that a member may have multiple projects and there may be duplicate information between the Steer Carcass Competition Project and your Market Beef- Live Project. Should you have BOTH projects, the 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass competition will accept reference to the market steer record book for the following pages: About me (p.5), About my club (p.6), Equipment Inventory (top of p. 9) note: budgeting must be completed if you are a senior member, and Record of my clubs activities (p. 22). The presentation will replace your story and clippings page. All other pages must be completed specific to your carcass project (About my beef project (p.7), project photos (p.8), budgeting (p. 9), rate of gain (p. 10), feed & other costs (p. 11-18), financial summary (p.19), and record of my project’s progress (p.20-21)).

Other Competition Notes

  • All Carcasses must be “Youthful” for Maturity
  • Rate of Gain – Will be used for information only for this competition
  • The 4-H Alberta Steer Carcass Committee may require a one (1) inch “Rib Eye” steak taken from the 12 rib of each animal will be frozen when carcass is being cut and wrapped for display at the Awards Luncheon.
  • Both sides of the carcass will be graded for Criteria #1 (Marbling) and Criteria #2 (Yield).  Only the left side will be used for grading Criteria #5 (Fat).
  • Tie breaking
    • Carcass Ties will be broke using the following criteria until the tie is broke. The carcass with the closest to optimum will be declared the winner.
      • Criteria #1: Grade – Marbling … Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (2)
      • Criteria #2: Yield … Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (3)
      • Criteria #3: Ribeye Size … Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (4)
      • Criteria #5: Warm Carcass Weight… Tied Carcasses are compared if there is still a tie then move to (5)
      • Criteria #4: Fat Thickness

Perfect Animal Score

Scoring Criteria Maximum Score (150)
Criteria #1:Grading – Marbling 35
Criteria #2:Lean Yield Score 25
Criteria #3:Ribeye Size 20
Criteria #4:Warm Carcass Weight 15
Criteria #5:Fat Thickness 10
Criteria #6:Muscling 5
Criteria #7:Fat Colour 5
Criteria #8:Rib Eye Colour 5
Criteria #9a:Animal Tie Broke 10
Criteria #9b:Free of Tag 10
Criteria #9c:Final Presentation 10
Total 150


Credits – The Provincial Carcass Committee would like to acknowledge the work previously completed by Henry Wiegman. His work was used as a basis for developing this competition.

For more information contact:

Alexia Hoy
4-H Specialis

Registration is CLOSED

Provincial Event Registration Policies

  • Online Registration opens at 12:00 am on the first day of registration and is available 24 hours a day until midnight of the registration deadline.
  • Registration is not considered complete until full payment is received.
  • All requests for late registration (after the Regular Registration Deadline) will be accepted at the sole discretion of the program lead and will be subject to an additional fee of $25.00 on top of the Regular Registration cost.
  • An administrative fee of $25.00 will be retained on all cancellations. Cancellations received less than 14 days before the event start date will forfeit the entire registration fee unless a delegate replacement is available or extenuating circumstances are at play.