Meat Judging Team Concludes Competitive Season at the 2023 International

 Pictured Left to Right: Keegan Zimmerly, Bridget Fisher, Jillian Anderson, Anna Nafziger, Ashtyn Jolly, Kailey Clark, Lacey Smith

Tyson Fresh Meats, Dakota City, Nebraska, was again the host of the 2023 International – the national championship for intercollegiate senior meat judging teams.  This year, 14 universities from across the country gathered for the final contest of the 2023 season, and West Texas A&M University (Canyon) was named the national champion team. The following teams finished in the top five: Texas Tech (Lubbock), Oklahoma State University (Stillwater), Texas A&M University (College Station), and Kansas State University (Manhattan).

The Iowa State University team finished ninth in the contest, and the results in divisions include: lamb judging – 3rd; pork judging and reasons – 7th; beef grading, beef judging, overall beef, and specifications – 9th; placings – 10th. Individual honors included Kailey Clark, Grand Mound – 9th in lamb judging, and Jillian Anderson, Montgomery, IL – tied for 10th in pork judging. In the alternate division, the Iowa State University team finished 11th overall and in divisions finished: 8th in lamb judging; 9th in beef judging, pork judging and placings; 11th in beef grading, overall beef, and specifications. Lacey Smith, Anamosa, tied for first in pork judging and was third in placings.

 Jillian Anderson was voted by her fellow team members as the Iowa State University recipient of the Rachel Hamilton Memorial “Spirit” Award. This award was established to recognize a team member from each team (selected by his/her peers), based upon passion for meat judging, competitiveness, and as the person that everyone would want on their team.

Finishing out the roster of team members are: Bridget Fisher, Wellman; Ashtyn Jolly, Lancaster, KS; Anna Nafziger, Wellman; and Keegan Zimmerly, Independence. The team was led by Dr. Terry Houser, Professor and Meat Extension Specialist; Jacob Manternach, Industry Extension Specialist and 2018 team member; Kayle Eivins, Meat Science Graduate Student and 2021 team member; Christina Speicher, 2022 team member; and program coordinator Dr. Sherry Olsen. Our program is very proud of each of these students who successfully represented our department, college, and university as they traveled across the country competing, sharpening their evaluation skills, and networking with industry professionals and personnel at other colleges and universities.  We wish each of them good luck as they continue their studies and prepare for outstanding careers in the livestock and meat industries.