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O’Brien County Youth Meat Judging Team Takes Top Honors

Ames, Iowa — A team of local youth has taken home top honors in the 2019 state 4-H meat judging contest at the Iowa State University Meat Laboratory.

The O’Brien County Senior Team earned first place in the Iowa contest and will represent the state at nationals in October. Members are Eric Mars, Abigail Boardman, Jack Farqubar and Aiden Rehder.

The Iowa State University Animal Science Department holds the contest to determine Iowa’s representative to the National 4-H contest held during the American Royal, in Kansas City.

Contest participants were asked to identify 30 retail cuts by classifying them as beef, pork or lamb, identify the name of the cut, where on the carcass it originated, and evaluate beef and pork carcasses based on muscle, trimness, and quality.

Youth were also asked to evaluate beef ribs, fresh hams, porterhouse steaks and pork blade chops based on the amount of edible product and quality.

Participants defended their placings by presenting three sets of oral reasons or by answering questions about the classes they evaluated.

Amy Powell, ISU Extension and Outreach youth animal science STEM specialist says that meat judging is a very practical contest, teaching youth how to identify meat and choose the best cut based on quality, trimness and muscling. She says that it also teaches decision making, critical thinking and public speaking skills.

Photo (courtesy ISU Extension): Champion Senior Team (L to R) Jack Farqubar, Abigail Boardman, Aidan Rehder, Emily Chicoine, Eric Mars

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