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Hams And Sausage Have Chance For Glory At The Wisconsin State Fair Meat Product Show

Wisconsin meat processors are invited to enter hams, sausages, bacon and snack sticks in the Wisconsin State Fair Meat Product Show.

Winning products (top three in each class) will be auctioned off at the Governor”s Sweepstakes Meat Products Auction on the State Fair grounds in Milwaukee Tuesday, August 5th. All proceeds from the auction will go to the Wisconsin 4-H Foundation to benefit youth programs throughout the state. All entrants will be invited to the Pre-Auction Party at 5:30 p.m.

State Fair ribbons and plaques will be awarded to the top three products in each category, and those products will be sold at the benefit auction. Winners will be placed on display for the duration of the fair in the East Exhibit Hall (Cream Puff Building). State Fair will pay premiums of $100, $75 and $40 to the producers of the top three products in each category. Other products not ranking in the top three places will be sold by the Wisconsin State Fair, with proceeds going to support statewide 4-H youth programs.

University meat specialists and non-competing meat processors will judge the products July 18 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Meat Science Laboratory. Products will be evaluated on external appearance, internal appearance (where appropriate), and flavor/taste. Summer sausage should not be entered in branded (labeled) casings. Score cards will be returned to all exhibitors following the judging.

Product categories include:

o hams – whole, bone-in, weighing a minimum of 15 pounds;
o bacon – in whole slab form, weighing a minimum of 8 pounds;
o summer sausage – a minimum of 5 pounds must be submitted, may consist of one or two sticks;
o smoked Polish sausage (kielbasa) – fully cooked – a minimum of 3 pounds;
o meat snack sticks – small-diameter snack sausages – may or may not be fermented, may or may not be shelf stable – a minimum of 3 pounds.

The contest is open to all state or federally inspected meat processing companies or licensed retail stores in Wisconsin. Each company is limited to one entry per product category.

For each product submitted, the plant name will be entered into a drawing for a special prize. The drawing will take place at the auction, and plant operators do not have to be present to win. Show cooperators include the Wisconsin State Fair, Wisconsin 4-H Foundation, UW-Madison Department of Animal Sciences, and the Wisconsin Association of Meat Processors.

The entry fee per product is $10. Entries must be dropped off or shipped to arrive by Thursday, July 17, 2003 at the Meat Science Lab, 1805 Linden Drive, Madison, WI 53706. For an entry form and complete rules, please call Laura Trumble, (608) 262-0463.