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Judge: "Well, it's sure been a pleasure to come up to York and judge the heifer's part of your County Fair."
     Terry: "The judging, you learn to look at that animal live and then visualize what it's going to be when we have a carcass. And that is a skill that they learn. These youngsters are involved with either the county program or a local school program with FFA. They are allowed to bring so many animals to the fair. And we bring them there to pick up these skills of both showing and fitting. And when we talk about fitting, it's just like some people get up and really go through the process of getting their hair just so, and primp. We do that with our livestock."
     Judge: "Here's a heifer with a lot of product and meat and muscle in her…"
     Terry: "That's what the judges are looking for, is that top overall animal… It's one person's opinion that day. It's official, but it doesn't mean you're 100 percent right. As this old world has continued to change, what our desires are in that livestock has changed. And let's just take the hogs because I worked for pork producers all those years. Back then, and the youngsters don't know it, during the war they primarily wanted a very fat animal. They weren't looking at the red meat. They was looking at fat so that oil could be used for so many things. So that was where we were. In the 50s, we're coming out of that again already. So, we're trying to lean those animals up. In other words, get less fat on them. You look at that on these animals, whether it be cattle or hogs or sheep, visualize what you're doing. You're going from a short, fat animal to your length of them. And the other thing, you can't just stop just with the meat product. You've also got to tie in their ability to gain on the least amount of feed that you can because it's efficiency that we're looking for…
     "I always told my youngsters when they were judging, they [the animals have] got to be very sound, physically sound, you know, on feet and legs in order to carry that body and put the red meat muscle on there versus the fat…
     "This technology has changed so fast that they're using the genetic testing and everything now and following it all the way through back. And they're really selecting the cattle that will go ahead and marble, which is internal marbling to make that meat tender but still do the gain. In other words, they don't want any more fat on that animal than they have to as long as it'll marble. And you can do that with less fat on them."
     Judge: "And then we've got this big old massive Simmental [cattle breed] down there. And then we think about why we brought the Simmental or the Continental breeds into the United States. And that was to give us growth and mass, and to teach us a lesson that maybe these 'belt-buckle' cattle that we were raising back in the the 60s and early 70s weren't what we needed to please our consumers. And over the last three or four decades now, we've bred that into those cattle and they're very functional and play a very important part of our industry. This female, when I look at her, tremendous depth of body…
     Judge: "Congratulations, young lady."
     Winner: "Thank you."

Terry Schrick – Livestock Judging

   

Other Excerpts from Terry Schrick’s Interview:

Ag Education
Consumer Preferences
The "International Man"
Custom Combining
Government Programs
Soil Bank Program
Lobbying for Ag