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College of Agriculture

CSU, Chico Establishes Meats Judging Team

Announced on: Thursday, Feb. 27, 2020

The meats judging teamOn January 22, the newest team in the College of Agriculture, the Meats Judging team, kicked off competition season at the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado. Coached by meat science professor Crystal Waters, the team is composed of Kaitlyn Loomas, Amanda Prentice, Alexandra Nisson, Courtney King, Doug Bernal, Garrett Bunyard, Madison Redding and Sarah Sutherland.

At their first competition, the team placed eighth overall, fifth in beef evaluation and senior Kaitlyn Loomas placed fifth high individual in beef evaluation.

Meats judging is composed of four parts: beef carcass grading, species carcass evaluation, wholesale cuts specifications and written reasons to justify their placings. On contest day, the morning session includes the evaluation of five classes of wholesale cuts and carcasses where a set of written reasons is turned in for points. The contest continues into the afternoon with specifications classes, yield and quality grading, and five more evaluation classes.

For students on the team, competing is an opportunity to explore future careers in the industry while networking with large companies and travelling to renowned facilities like Cargill, JBS, Superior Farms and Harris Ranch.

“My favorite part has been traveling with the team because on the road we have few distractions and are solely focused on meat judging. Even though we have very long days of practicing, we still manage to have fun together and lots of laughs,” Loomas said. “Being on the meat judging team has solidified my post-graduate decision to stay in this field and continue to learn more about the meat industry . . . I plan on going to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in food safety and meat science.”

After taking introductory meat science classes, agricultural education major Alexandrea Nisson decided to join the team in order to gain more hands-on experience she can carry on to her future students as an agriculture teacher.

“We travel to competitions across the country and spend long days in the cooler at processing plants and as a result I have learned so much about the meat science industry, made lifelong friends and gained professional contacts by joining the team.” Nisson said.

For their next competition, the team looks forward to attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on March 7, 2020.