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National 4-H Meat Evaluation & Identification Contest

Very little historic information has been located at the national level relative to the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest. (We need your help in documenting the beginnings and continuous operations and participation in this important event.)

The Winter 1978-79 National 4-H Council COURIER has a brief news article: "Fifteen state teams participated in the annual 4-H Meats Identification and Judging Contest, held November 8, 1978 in Kansas City in conjunction with the American Royal Livestock and Horse Show. The top three teams were Nebraska, first; Illinois, second; and Wyoming, third. The top five individuals in order, included Lisa Dobrosky, Pennsylvania; Don Block, Nebraska; Joy Yeager, Alabama; Jan Margritz, Nebraska; and Judy Johnson, Wyoming. The event is conducted by the National Livestock and Meat Board and Extension Livestock and Meat Specialists from around the country.

Thirty-five contestants representing 10 states participated in the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest on October 28, 2008 at Kansas State University in Manhattan. Colorado was awarded top team with 2169 points and Texas second with 2,158. Patrick Jones, Texas, was top individual; Jordan McHenry, Colorado, was second; Joseph Jones, Texas, third; Maggie Weinroth, Colorado, fourth; Natalie Roberts, Colorado, fifth, Walter Crofts, Wyoming, sixth; and Katie Robinson, Texas, seventh.

The three top individuals in the 2009 national meat judging contest all went to girls - Ellie Bretzman, Illinois, came in first; Katelyn Duecker, Texas, second; and Aeriel Belk, Colorado, was third. James Leigh, Illinois took fourth place; Kassie Curran, Kansas, fifth; and Brian Highfill, Oklahoma was sixth. Illinois was awarded the top team in the contest with Texas being second. A total of 55 contestants from 14 states participated in the contest which was held at Kansas State University.

The 2010 results in the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest, which was held at Kansas State University, were Wyoming having the top team with 2,177 points; Texas second with 2,170; Missouri third with 2,135; Colorado fourth with 2091; and Virginia fifth with 2055. The top individuals in the national judging performed a tight race with the eight best scorers being within 10 points of each other. Kristin Miller of Texas and Blake Ochsner, Wyoming were first and second top individuals tied with 728 points each, followed by Logan Cecil, Wyoming, third, two points behind with 726; Cooper Martin, fourth, from Missouri with 724, Andrea Gurney, Wyoming, fifth, with 723; Steve Ebeling, Texas, sixth with 722, Kristen True, Texas, 720; and Andrew Perry, Missouri, eighth with 718 points. In total, 51 contestants from 14 states participated in the contest.

In 2011 the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest was held on October 25 at Kansas State University in Manhattan with 57 contestants from 15 states participating. Ryan King, Texas was top individual with 731 points; Miranda Jones, Texas was second with 717; Chris Davis, Kansas, third with 716; Mark Girone, Illinois, fourth with 712; and Trey Fecke, Illinois fifth with 699. Texas was the top team with 2,135 points; Illinois second, 2107; New Mexico third, 2071; Kansas fourth, 2070; and Alabama fifth, 2064.

Contemporary History

The National 4-H Meat Evaluation & Identification Contest (National 4-H Meat Judging Contest) continues to be a part of the American Royal Livestock Show, hosted by Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. Current contest supporters include the American Meat Science Association Educational Foundation, American Royal Livestock Show, Saddle and Sirloin Club and Kansas State University, Department of Animal Sciences & Industry.

The Saddle and Sirloin Club of Kansas City awards scholarships to the top three individuals in the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest. The first place individual receives a $1,000 scholarship, second place receives $750, and third place receives $500.

To learn more about the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest visit the website:

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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