OPSU Meat Judging Team

Nov 7, 2023

Natasha Eidson

OPSU Meat Judging Team Win National Placement for American Meat Science National Division

The OPSU Meat Judging Team competed at the Cargill High Plains Contest in Friona, Texas. This contest was the final outing for the American Meat Science National Division. It consisted of 10 placing classes, 5 sets of questions, and quality & yield grading of 15 Beef carcasses.

Senior, Makenzie Webster, excelled in the national competition, earning the title of National Champion Individual, signifying her as the best judge in the country for this year. She also received a $1,000 Scholarship along with several other individual honors, including High Individual Overall, High Individual Beef Grading, High Individual Total Beef, 2nd place Individual Lamb Judging, 9th place Individual Pork Judging, 10th place Individual Placings, and 10th place Individual Questions.

“Receiving this individual award is a dream come true, and it’s a testament to the countless hours of dedication and preparation I’ve put into meat judging. It’s an incredible feeling to be recognized as the best judge in the country for this year, and I’m truly grateful for this honor,” stated Webster.

Tracy Kincannon, Dean of the College of Agriculture, Science, and Nursing, stated, “Makenzie Webster’s national excellence and the winning tradition of the OPSU Meat Judging Team stand as a testament to the remarkable talent and dedication within our college. This achievement not only showcases our commitment to excellence but also reinforces our position as a leading institution in the field of agriculture and meat science. Makenzie’s title as National Champion Individual is a source of immense pride and inspiration for our academic community.”

The OPSU Meat Judging Team received several awards, including High Team Beef Grading, 3rd place in Pork Judging, 3rd place in Total Placing, 5th place in Lamb Judging, 6th place in Beef Judging, 6th place in Questions, and 4th place Overall. The students who attended were Makenze Webster, JD Fox, Austin Jacobs, Elizabeth Ross, and Coach, Kathryn Hearn.

University President, Dr. Julie Dinger commented, “The OPSU Meat Judging Team has made a big impression on campus and in competition. I’m proud of Coach Hearn’s leadership. She has taken a new program and brought out the best in our students in the classroom and in competition. Our faculty, staff, and students are what make our university great, and the Meats Judging Program is a perfect example of this.”

Austin Jacobs was the recipient of the Rachel Hamilton Award. The Rachel Hamilton Award was established to honor a member of each team selected by their peers whose winning approach exemplifies Rachel’s love of meats judging.

Kathryn Hearn, Meat Judging Head Coach, said, “This team is very special. Each of them went from knowing very little about meat judging, to competing at the national level. They had to trust a brand new faculty member to teach them the things they needed to know. Even with just the 4 of them, they proved to be very competitive. I am proud to have been a small part of their success. I look forward to what each of them will do in the future.”

Individual achievements in the competition included JD Fox as the 5th place Individual Overall, 4th place Individual Questions, 5th place Individual Beef Judging, 7th place Individual Lamb Judging, 7th place Individual Pork Judging, and 10th place Individual Beef Grading; a 14th place Individual Beef Grading by Austin Jacobs; and a 14th place Individual Pork Judging and Placings by Elizabeth Ross.

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