UPDATE: APRIL 22, 2020
The following statement has been emailed on behalf of the PIKE COUNTY FAIR BOARD to 4-H advisors and youth taking market STEERS.
Download STEER statement here.
UPDATE: March 23, 2020
The following statement has been emailed on behalf of the PIKE COUNTY FAIR BOARD to 4-H advisors and youth taking market swine.
Attention all swine and steer exhibitors, families, club volunteers, and producers:
In January of 2020, the Pike County Fair Board ruled to ban the use of ractopamine (the active ingredient in Paylean® and Optaflexx®). The Ohio State Fair has also issued a ban on ractopamine.
NOTE: This page will be updated regularly as information and REQUIRED FORMS become available!
In an effort to make the Pike County fair market hogs as marketable as possible, the Pike County Agricultural Society has banned the use of products containing the active ingredient ractopamine for all market hog and market steer exhibitors. This ban is firm and of zero tolerance for any level of ractopamine in any market hog or market steer exhibited at the Pike County Fair. An affidavit will be provided to all market hog and market steer exhibitors to sign, stating their compliance with the rule put forward by the Pike County Agriculture Society. Ractopamine testing will be completed at the packing facility where the market hogs will be slaughtered and processed. Due to each market hog having a unique ear tag and tattoo, the hogs can be traced back to each individual exhibitor. The Fair Board will also do ractopamine testing at the conclusion of the show on all division and reserve division winners.
WHY THIS DECISION?
Recent announcements by the US pork packing industry indicating that they will no longer purchase pigs fed ractopamine (the active ingredient in Paylean® and Optaflexx®) have changed the ability to market show/exhibition pigs to major packers. Coupled with known challenges prior to ractopamine feeding restrictions, standard markets for exhibition swine are fewer or nearly non-existent, thus making marketing 4H/FFA hogs extremely difficult and usually resulting in accepting a packer bid below market value. Although ractopamine is FDA approved and labeled safe as a feed product for swine, it has had a negative impact on the swine industry. More than 25% of the pork industries products are exported and many export markets have a restriction on ractopamine fed swine and their products. Additionally, the pork industry has concerns on the overall effect of ractopamine on product quality from a consumer standpoint. Packing facilities are currently taking the stance of “never ever” has a hog consumed ractopamine as the acceptable level in the pork product. This stance is firm due to the complexity of ractopamine and its effects on muscle, tissue, organs, and fluids in hogs.
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR PRODUCERS AND EXHIBITORS:
- If ractopamine has been fed in previous years, be sure to clean all feed materials, containers, feeders, pens and anything that could have come in contact with ractopamine.
- Be sure to purchase hogs and steers from producers that have not fed ractopamine to their animals prior to you purchasing; we strongly encourage having something in writing stating their compliance to be safe.
- Purchase feed from reputable sources, being certain that they are ractopamine free.
If there are any questions or concerns, please contact the Pike County Agricultural Society at 740-289-9194 or OSU Extension Pike County at 740-289-4837