SALEM, Ohio – Following recommendations from the Ohio Department of Agriculture, the Trumbull County fair board disqualified the 2004 fair’s reserve champion market lamb.
The board took action only against the lamb project shown by Drew Turner, and not Turner himself.
During post-mortem inspection, a testicle was found in the carcass. Ohio livestock exhibition rules prohibit testicular tissue in any animal shown as a wether, steer or barrow.
Chain of events. Kevin Turner, Drew’s father, said the family was told testicular matter was found shortly after the lamb was slaughtered following the fair’s wrap-up July 18.
Turner said he reacted to the call from the slaughterhouse with disbelief and immediately called junior fair coordinator Jan Solomon.
Another livestock committee member called the department of agriculture to ask for guidance and contacted the fair board’s executive committee to inform them of an investigation.
According to fair board president Richard Roscoe Sr., the entire board was notified of a formal investigation into Turner’s lamb in late September 2004 in a letter from state veterinarian David Glauer.
Glauer shared the investigation’s findings with Roscoe in late November. At that time, Roscoe asked the state to send their written punishment recommendation to the fair board.
The board unanimously adopted the state-recommended sanctions. Drew Turner’s exhibition livestock was disqualified, and he was ordered to forfeit or return awards, prizes, premiums or proceeds from the project.
The state also suggested the lamb’s win be removed from fair records.
Animal only. The state didn’t recommend sanctions against Drew Turner nor bar him from future shows, noting in the letter to Roscoe that investigators “found no evidence that Drew Turner had knowledge of the violation or intended to misrepresent the animal.”
Turner has one more year of eligibility to show livestock through the 4-H program.
Return premiums. The Trumbull fair board also requested Turner return his sale proceeds to the buyer.
His father, Kevin Turner, bought the lamb on behalf of Williams IGA in Vienna for $928.
The original premium check was never cashed.
Roscoe said the junior fair sale committee reissued a check for the lamb’s fair market value to Drew Turner.
They valued the 128-pound lamb at $1.30 per pound, Solomon said.
Couldn’t have known. The Turners say the animal was castrated prior to its purchase.
Both of Turner’s 2004 lambs – the grand and reserve champion in the Trumbull County junior fair show – were purchased from the same breeder, but the family has no ill feelings toward him.
“We know he didn’t sell a lamb with a testicle intentionally. He thought he only had one [testicle], banded him and then the other dropped,” Kevin Turner said.
(Reporter Andrea Myers welcomes reader feedback by phone at 1-800-837-3419, ext. 22, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Turner’s Trumbull Co. lamb may be stripped of award (12/23/2004)
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