Since 2002, Alabama Farmers Co-op in Decatur has sponsored the awards to the exhibitors of the Grand Champion and Reserve Grand Champion Ultrasound Steers at the Alabama Junior Livestock Expo (AJLE), State Steer Show.
This is an ongoing effort to expose the 4-H and FFA member steer exhibitors to modern cutting-edge science and technology. The use of this modern, non-invasive technological-selection tool, commonly utilized in genetic evaluation of breeding animals for seedstock producers, not only in Alabama but across America, continues to draw spectator and exhibitor interest. This technology is commonly used in the selection of market cattle at harvest-time in many of the mid-Western feedlots.
At the 2010 Alabama Junior Beef Expo held March 12 through 14 at Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, 40 of the 94 eligible steer exhibitors voluntarily entered their steers in this competition, reflecting 43 percent of the exhibitors with a nine-year average of 46 percent. Fifty of the 120 eligible steers (that’s 42 percent of the steers, while the nine-year average is 45 percent) were subjected to ultrasound technology.
By continuing to offer this opportunity at the AJLE, the 4-H and FFA exhibitors can learn about and observe leading-edge technology currently being utilized in the beef industry and to realize the "showring" is only a small part of the total beef industry. In addition, having the opportunity to learn about the carcass aspect of their project animal helps the exhibitor more fully understand that their animal is truly part of the food-chain. Exhibitors extend a hearty THANK YOU to Alabama Farmers Co-op!