OSU Meat Animal Evaluation Team Wins National ChampionshipTue, 08 Apr 2014 17:40:03 CDT
Every competitor dreams of winning a championship and being the best at their craft. All 15 members of the Oklahoma State University Meat Animal Evaluation Team are living that dream.
The team recently won the National Championship at the 2014 Meat Animal Evaluation Contest in Lubbock, Texas, defeating the other 11 teams from universities all over the United States. This is OSU's second time in the last four years to claim the title.
"Dr. (Gretchen) Mafi and I felt like this team had a great chance to win," said Blake Bloomberg, team coach. "They are very dedicated and have all had success judging in the past. They worked hard and together to achieve their goal."
This contest consists of four divisions. The first division was Market Animal, in which students estimate fat thickness, rib eye area, Quality Grade and Yield Grade in cattle and sheep. They also estimate fat thickness, loin eye area and fat free lean percentage of hogs. In this division, they also price pens of four animals and evaluate performance classes based on value per day of age.
The second division is Breeding Animal, in which students place classes of livestock and keep/cull selection, along with answering questions on each class.
The Meats Division includes placing and answering questions on carcasses, pricing carcasses and beef grading.
The final segment is the Communication Division, where students are given a current topic in the industry and address the topic to a panel of judges.
The team placed 1st in the overall contest, 1st in the Market Animal Division, 1st in the Cattle Division, and 1st in the Communication Division. The team placed 2nd in Meats, 2nd in the Breeding Animal Division and 2nd in Swine. The team placed 3rd in the Sheep Division.
"Our team did very well in each division," Bloomberg said. "They are a really good testament to what can be accomplished with hard work and dedication."
Team members include Kyle Wilson, Wilkinson, Ind.; Shannon White, Stillwater, Okla.; Morgan Neilson, Meeker, Colo.; Ashley Judge, San Louis Obispo, Calif.; Taylor Graham, Crossville, Tenn.; Kelly Vierck, Juneau, Wis.; Jake Bloomberg, Berwick, Ill.; Gary Agar, Santa Rosa, N.M.; Cody Johnson, Meeker, Okla.; Katie Kirsch, Fremont, Ohio; Austin Kindschi, Orlando, Okla.; Taylor Langford, Calhoun, Ga.; Mari Palacio, Bend, Ore.; Kurt Parsons, Ducor, Calif.; and Kass Pfeiffer, Orlando, Okla.
Wilson was high individual overall, placing 2nd in the Market Division, 2nd in Swine, 3rd in Meats and 5th in cattle.
White placed 4th overall, 1st in Meats and 1st in Cattle.
Neilson placed 6th overall, 1st in Sheep, 6th in Meats and 10th in the Market Division.
Judge placed 10th overall, 8th in the Market Division and 8th in the Breeding Animal Division.
Graham placed 1st in the Breeding Animal Division.
Vierck placed 2nd in Meats and 2nd in Cattle.
Jake Bloomberg placed 4th in Swine and 5th in the Breeding Animal Division.
"Some students on the team are members of the 2014 OSU Livestock Judging Team and will continue competing in the fall," Bloomberg said. "Other team members are graduating in May and will pursue advanced degrees or enter the workforce."
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