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Escambia County 4-H Meat Judging Team
Places Fourth at National Contest

One man and 4 youth holding awards for winning competition.

Escambia County 4-H is proud to announce that their meat judging team placed fourth at the Western National Roundup 4-H Meat Judging Contest.  The team represented Florida 4-H at the contest held on January 11, 2020 at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO.  Participants had to identify 30 retail cuts, place six retail, wholesale, and carcass classes, and give three sets of oral reasons.

The team was comprised of youth, ages 14-18, included Jessica Conti, Hannah Schnupp, Ethan Thorne, and Hannah Thorne.  The team earned the opportunity to compete at the national level contest after placing second at the state meat judging contest in April 2019.  The team was coached by Brian Estevez, UF/IFAS Escambia County Extension 4-H Agent.

Youth review meat for meat judging contest.

The Escambia County 4-H Meat Judging Team reviews pork loins with Coach and 4-H Agent, Brian Estevez.

Through the competition process, the team has developed life skills through activities to understand the processing of beef, pork, and lamb, including retail identification, factors relating to meat quality, and cookery.  Meat judging participants acquire knowledge and skills in meat identification and grading techniques and then apply those basic skills to the selection process.  Participants then develop an understanding and appreciation of the basic scientific principles involved in eating and cooking quality, nutritional value, and consumer appeal of meat.  4-H members on the team also learn life skills such as decision making, problem solving, and goal setting.

During the trip to the national contest, the meat judging team participated in a mock contest at the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY.  The team also toured Colorado State University and visited with Dr. Katie Abrams, Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Technical Communication.  The Western National Roundup 4-H Meat Judging Contest was held in conjunction with the National Western Stock Show in Denver, Colorado.

The meat judging teams would like to thank the many sponsors that helped make this trip a reality for our team. This kind of community support helps the Escambia County 4-H program remain successful.  Thank you for supporting the youth in Escambia County and helping us place fourth at a national contest!

For more information on 4-H meats judging, 4-H Judging Teams, or other 4-H programs, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office, or visit

Special thanks to Brian Estevez, UF/IFAS Escambia County 4-H Agent, for providing this article and pictures.

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