The Woodward News

March 9, 2013

Students learn meat science in contest

Chris Cooper
Woodward News

Woodward, Okla. — As part of the 79th annual Woodward District Livestock Show, 4H and FFA students participated in a meat judging contest Saturday morning at Ray's Meat Market in Woodward.

"Meat science is excellent program for the kids to get involved in," said Greg Highfill, chairman of the Northwest District 4-H Committee which hosts the contest.

Highfill said the contests asks students to identify 30 different cuts of meat.  In doing so, he said the students must tell species of the cut whether it be beef, pork, or lamb; what part of carcass the meat is from; the retail name of it; and its cookery method.

Students in Saturday's contest also competed in a retail judging class in which they were presented with 4 steaks and were asked to pick the best buy, he said.  There was also a pork carcass class where contestants evaluated entire pig carcasses and ranked them highest to lowest, he said.

Highfill said the carcass judging is more typical of advanced level meat judging contests.  In that way, he said Saturday's contest would help prepare these students if they chose to later compete at a collegiate level of competition.

"Meat science is a life long skill that makes these kids better consumers," Highfill said. "They learn the cuts and how to get the most value for their money."

Highfill expressed his appreciation to Ray's Meat Market for allowing them to hold the contest the meat processing plant.

"It is good to have the contest at Ray's Meat Market, they have excellent product and do a quality job," he said.

Highfill encouraged kids to get involved with meat science, saying that it's a beneficial knowledge that they'll use throughout their lives.  He said those who are interested in getting into meat science should contact their local County OSU Extension Center for more information.

The 2013 meat judging contest winners included, in the Junior 4-H division, Harper County as the Team winner and Abagail Colten of Harper County as the individual winner.  Senior 4-H Individual winner was J.C. Wells of Harper County.  The FFA division winning team was Mooreland FFA, and Jacy Gillenwaters as the individual winner.