Iowa 4-H State Meat Judging Team Places Fourth at National Contest

November 4, 2020, 2:03 pm | Amy Powell

Iowa 4-H meat judging team.MANHATTAN, Kansas – Iowa’s team placed fourth overall at the 2020 National 4-H meat judging contest. The Oct. 20 contest was held in conjunction with the American Royal at Kansas State University. The team from O’Brien County previously had won the Iowa 4-H meat judging contest, earning the right to represent the state in the national contest.

Team members Dain Moermond, Bryce Rasmussen, Dante Johnson and Grant Wagner excelled in several aspects of the competition. As a team, they placed second in retail cut judging, third in beef, fourth in retail cut identification, and fifth in pork evaluation, oral reasons and placings.

Individual members also had several highlights from the contest. Dain Moermond placed fifth in retail cut judging, eighth in beef evaluation and ninth in total judging. Dante Johnson won ninth high individual in retail cut identification. Bryce Rasmussen was fifth in beef evaluation and Grant Wagner was sixth in retail cut evaluation. The team was coached by Eric Kumm, agriculture teacher at South O’Brien High School in Paullina, Iowa.

Contest participants were asked to identify 30 retail cuts by classifying them as beef, pork or lamb; identify where on the carcass the cut originated; name the cut; and evaluate beef and pork carcasses based on muscle, trimness and quality. Youth were also asked to evaluate beef and pork wholesale and retail cuts based on the amount of edible product and quality. They defended their placings by presenting three sets of oral reasons and answering questions about the classes they had evaluated.

Dain Moermond said, “The knowledge I have gained through meat judging has helped me in science classes with anatomy, since part of retail cut identification deals with knowing the muscles and bones of various species of animals. I am also more comfortable speaking in front of groups of people now that I have practiced presenting oral reasons. I enjoy meat judging because I like to compete in a variety of things.”

Bryce Rasmussen said, “Meat judging has offered a unique opportunity to learn a set of new skills that I can use throughout life -- from being a better consumer to problem-solving. I like to judge because it is challenging, and I am constantly learning something new.”

For more information on the state or national 4-H meat judging contest, contact Amy Powell, or visit

Photo caption: (From left to right) Dante Johnson, Bryce Rasmussen, Dain Moermond, Grant Wagner


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