AMES, Iowa – Thirty-one youth from across Iowa competed in the 4-H meat evaluation contest Nov. 12 at Iowa State University. Youth teams from O’Brien County won the senior and junior divisions at the ISU Meat Laboratory.
The ISU Department of Animal Science held the contest to determine Iowa’s representative in the National 4-H Contest for 2023 during the American Royal in Kansas City. Terry Houser, extension meat science professor, conducted a judging workshop prior to the contest so youth and educators could learn more about meat evaluation.
The O’Brien County senior team captured first in the contest and will represent Iowa 4-H at nationals. Champion team members are Hudson Oolman, Austin Negus, Leo Sells and Claire Wagner.
Individual awards were given in total placings, retail identification, and questions. Peyton Farquhar from O’Brien County won top honors in retail identification and questions. Charline Lane, Jackson County, and Peyton Farquhar, O’Brien County, tied for the top spot in placings. The overall individual winners were determined by combining all scores from each class. Peyton Farquhar, O’Brien County, placed first; Hudson Oolman, O’Brien County, placed second; Blake Oostenink, Sioux County, placed third; Leo Sells, O’Brien County, placed fourth; and Brett Evans, O’Brien County, placed fifth.
The second-place team also was from O’Brien County. Team members were Peyton Farquhar, Abby Stout, Bensen Rohwer and Brett Evans. Third-place honors went to the team from Sioux County with members Blake Oostenink, Joseph Molina, Izzy Klein and Kaden Svoboda. Jackson County placed fourth with team members Alia Schmidt, Charlie Lane, Abby Schmidt and Dayne Kirby. Jackson County also earned fifth place with team members Alia Holdgrafer, Jenna Roling and Meghan Klemme. Franklin County placed sixth with team members Erin Christensen, Macy Christensen and Paula Jorgenson.
O’Brien County took home top honors in the junior division contest as well, with team members Jasper Johnson, Will Stout and BreLee Rasmussen. BreLee Rasmussen captured the top award in retail identification. Derek Rominger, Jasper County, was the high individual in placings. Will Stout was the high individual in questions. Overall high individuals were Will Stout in first place; BreLee Rasmussen, second place; Jasper Johnson, third place; Derek Rominger, Jasper County, fourth place, and Madden Abbas, Franklin County, fifth place. Both O’Brien County teams were coached by Eric Kumm.
Contest participants identified 30 retail cuts by classifying them as beef, pork or lamb; identified where on the carcass the cut originated; named the cut; and evaluated pork carcasses based on muscle, trimness and quality.
Youth also evaluated beef ribs, fresh hams, pork chops and T-bone steaks based on the amount of edible product and quality. New for this contest was a bacon evaluation class. They defended their placings by answering questions about the classes they evaluated.
“This is the first time we have held the contest in the fall and offered an educational workshop prior to the contest. Our goal is to increase interest in meat evaluation and expose youth at an earlier age to the many job opportunities that the field of meat science has to offer,” said Amy Powell, ISU Extension and Outreach animal science education specialist.
- Champion Junior Team – O’Brien County (left to right): Eric Kumm, coach, Jasper Johnson, BreLee Rasmussen, Will Stout.
- Champion Senior Team – O’Brien County (left to right): Eric Kumm, coach, Hudson Oolman, Austin Negus, Leo Sells, Claire Wagner.