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2014 Murray County 4-H Market Beef Information Letter

TO:        4-H Beef Families

FROM:   Mike Boersma, 4-H Program Director

Thank you for enrolling in the 4-H beef project!  As you may already know, Market Beef Identification for beef steers, dairy steers, and market heifers must be completed by the end of the day on Tuesday, February 18 (normal deadline is Feb. 15 which is extended due to weekend and President’s Day holiday). 

NEW in 2014: Minnesota 4-H has transitioned to a new Online ID system.  All identification materials, including an instructional video for the new online ID system, as well as all specie updates, are available here.  Be sure to check out the “Beef Information Sheet” link for the latest information on the MN 4-H Beef project.  There are also “Beef ID worksheets” available on this site.  Families may wish to complete these forms before entering the online ID system as a means of confirming they have collected all the information that the online system will ask for. 

4-H Eartags: All market beef require a MN 4-H eartag.  These tags are available for free from the Extension office.  Please stop in the office prior to February 15 to pick up the appropriate number of tags.  We will be using a new RFID tag this year, which requires a specific tagger be used.  If you have your own tagger, please bring it with you to the Extension office when you pick up your tags to ensure your tagger is compatible.  The Extension office also has two taggers that will be available for check-out by families, but we cannot guarantee their availability as the ID deadline approaches (first come, first served!). 

All market beef will need a 2014 4-H tag.  If you have animals that were identified as a calf with a 2013 tag last year, those tags will need to be removed and replaced with a new tag this year.  On rare occasions, animals may lose an eartag.  If this happens, please contact the Extension office IMMEDIATELY so a new tag can be issued and recorded.

Market Beef Weigh-In: If you would like to participate in the Rate of Gain contest at county fair, there will be a market beef weigh in on Saturday, Feb 1 at the Pipestone Livestock Auction Market from 9:00 to 11:00 AM.  We will weigh and tag each animal at this time.  In addition, our office will ensure that all animals weighed and tagged at this event are properly entered in the online ID system, so no additional action will be required for those who participate in the beef weigh in.  In case of inclement weather, please listen to KLOH radio (1050 AM) or KJOE (106.1 FM). 

For families who wish to participate in the Rate of Gain contest at county fair but are not able to participate in the Pipestone weigh-in, we will also accept a weigh slip from any certified scale (example-a local elevator).  These weigh slips must be turned in to the Extension office by February 18 and should be signed by the scale operator.  With this option, families must still complete the online animal ID system.

Participation in beef weigh-in is NOT required.  If you do not weigh your market animals, you will not be eligible for Rate of Gain awards at county fair, but it will not affect your project in any other way.  Your market animal will still be eligible for all other honors, awards, and premiums at county and state fairs.  If you do not participate in the centralized weigh in, simply pick up your eartags at the Extension office and complete the online ID by Feb 18th.

AkSarBen Livestock Expo-September 25-28, 2014
Market Beef animals must be identified in the MN 4-H Online ID system and must have DNA samples submitted to AkSarBen by April 1st to be eligible for AkSarBen.  Any animal identified through MN 4-H is eligible to have DNA samples collected for AkSarBen.  Collection envelopes are available at the county Extension office and will also be available at the beef weigh in on Feb 1.  DNA envelopes are due back to AkSarBen by April 1st.  The cost to submit DNA samples is $5.00 per animal.  For more information, please visit: or call the Extension office.

If you have ANY questions about the information in this letter, including assistance with completing your online ID forms, please contact the Extension office.  An “ID weekend” helpline has also been set up to assist with questions. For assistance during the President’s Day weekend, you may call (available 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. each day):

Saturday, Feb. 15 – PH: 218-232-4975    Sunday, Feb. 16 – PH: 507-438-6898      Monday, Feb. 17 – PH: 612-987-1059

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