(HUTCHINSON, Kan.) — The Kansas State Fair recently announced they will begin using DNA testing on certain livestock entered in their annual competitions. Contestants will be required to send in a hair sample of the animal to Kansas State University’s Animal Science Department when they first nominate their cattle, swine or sheep. The Fair will then run the DNA tests to confirm the identity of the top two winners in each category.
But why all the high tech science for livestock contests that have been going on for centuries? The answer is that winning the State Fair prize can be big business.
The Grand Champion top award can bring in as much as $10,000 per head of cattle and $4,000 for sheep and swine. But perhaps more lucrative are the bragging rights that farmers or contestants gain when selling a champion animal for breeding purposes.