It is a cold rainy morning on January 11th, 2014. There is a thick layer of anticipation in the atmosphere. People enter into the animal barn at the Timonium Fairgrounds with their steer in single file, with the expression anticipation and curiosity on their faces. What’s the occasion? Tagging Day!
According to one of our Parkton 4-H members, tagging day is when “the animals are tagged and identified.” Another Parkton 4-H member explained that it is “an event to start off our projects” and it is a day where “people bring their cattle to the fairgrounds and weigh them for market classes.” During Tagging Day, many of the 4-H members brought their cattle to get tagged. The 4-H members really look forward to getting their steer tagged.
According to a Parkton 4-H member, people get their steers tagged “for identification purposes to track the animal’s progress.” Tagging involves piercing an ear tag on the steer. The tag contains an animal identification number. After the animal is tagged, it is then weighed on a scale. A 4-H member explained that we weigh the animals before and after to “figure out the rate of gain and to determine the weight class at the end of the season.” A Horsin’ Around 4-H member stressed the importance of record keeping. She mentioned that it was important to keep records when working with livestock “because you have to keep track of everything. This way you can make more products.”
Tagging Day brings an air of excitement to both 4-H members and parents. Everyone wants to know how much their steers weigh, and which weight class their steer might be in. They do a great deal to prepare for tagging day. A 4-H member mentioned that they “tag their steers, halter break and castrate them.” Tagging Day makes the participants very excited about the 4-H steer show. Many different types of steers came to tagging day. There is no doubt that there will be a very interesting steer show in July!
Written and photographed by our MOST intern.