There is nothing like a delicious country cured ham. Or what about the taste of barbecue just off the grill? Learn how to cure your own ham and/or bacon, identify different meat retail and wholesale cuts, select a quality meat product and then know how to prepare it for a meal. These hands on activities and experiences will last you a lifetime.

Resources for all levels


ME114 Country Cured Bacon

MU Extension publications

ME115 Country Cured Hams


MU Extension publications

ME116 Meat Evaluation Project

The Pork Checkoff and other commodity groups updated the Guide to Identifying Meat Cuts. It can be ordered by contacting the Pork Checkoff department at 515-223-2621. Meat judging contests resources can be found at Texas A&M's Aggie Meat page.


To exhibit your food animal project at the Missouri State Fair, you must be a member of good standing in 4-H. To maintain your good standing, you must comply with the 4-H Food Quality Assurance Policy.

4-H Food Quality Assurance Policy

All 4-H members enrolled in food animal projects (including beef, sheep, swine, dairy cattle, meats, meat and dairy goats, rabbits, and poultry) must complete the appropriate level of Missouri Show Me Quality Assurance (MSMQA) certification to be considered 4-H member in good standing in that project. Additionally, members must complete their MSMQA program by June 1 to participate in the Missouri State Fair. Other county good standing guidelines may also apply. Check with your local 4-H youth specialist for current local guidelines.


State Meats Judging Contest

The meat industry is an important component in Missouri agriculture. The Meat Identification and Judging Contest has been developed to encourage 4-H members to develop skills and abilities needed to enter and advance in careers in the meat industry. These activities are designed to encourage the development of broader analytical skills, critical thinking, the use and understanding of appropriate meat terminology, and the evaluation of meat animal products to optimize economic returns not only to them as producers, but to them as consumers as well.