Jessica Igo and Mallory Emerson, two livestock judging coaches at Colorado State University, are eager to highlight hometown heroes all across our state, and to let people know about one of CSUs most successful programs.
Our local hero is Megan Semler from Bayfield. Megan, a member of the national championship team, is a great example of how the local 4-H program has helped shape her life in a positive way.
Competitive judging teams have been around Colorado State University for many decades. Igo and Emerson say that the meat judging program at CSU is well-known worldwide in the meat science discipline, as well as for winning national championships in meat judging and other intercollegiate meat judging competitions.
Meat judging involves the critical evaluation of carcasses and various other products from market beef, swine and lambs in order to determine their value and to rank them accordingly.
The Colorado State meat judging team competes at a national level against other university team such as Wyoming, Kansas State, Nebraska, Texas A&M, Penn State, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and several more.
Dr. Gary C. Smith, a renowned professor of meat science at CSU, describes the benefits of meat judging: Meat judging prepares animal science graduates to think critically, compare logically, decide independently, solve problems rationally, communicate effectively and lead decisively.
Igo and Emerson say that students from Colorado States meat judging program are some of the most highly sought-after students by employers because all of these traits have been highly developed throughout the year and a half the students have put into the program.
In addition to learning valuable professional and life skills, team members develop relationships and friendships with teammates and fellow competitors nationwide.
Colorado State Universitys meat judging program earned the title of national champion at the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging contest on Nov. 16 in Dakota City, Neb.
The program continued its success by starting out 2011 on a high note. With a 27-point margin of victory, Colorado State took first place Jan. 17 at Denvers National Western Stock Show. The team placed first in beef judging, overall beef and reasons, running up a total of 4,116 points.
This was the sixth time since 1975, when the National Western Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest started, that Colorado State claimed first place.
Following Colorado State were Texas Tech, South Dakota State, Kansas State and Oklahoma State.
Separately, the Rams had three of the top five individuals at the contest. Animal science sophomore Barbra Davis of Center finished with high individual honors, followed by equine science junior Danielle Shubert of Gooding, Idaho, in second, and agriculture business junior Jordan Hergenreder of Longmont in third. Semler, a sophomore animal science major, and Megan Myers of Delta, also in animal science, rounded out the CSU squad.
Their next competition will be Jan. 29 in Fort Worth, Texas, at the Southwestern Livestock Exposition.
Megan Semler is currently on the deans list at CSU and continues to provide support to our countys 4-H program.
We look forward to having Megan comeback home this summer and take part in an internship with our Extension office. Go Rams!
email@example.com or 382-6463. Greg Felsen is La Plata County 4-H youth development agent.