Dawson County 4-H Meats Team Competes At Nationals

Dawson County 4-H Meats Team Competes At Nationals
(L-R): Helene Keiser, Gothenburg; Jacie Wolfinger, Lexington; Emma Peterson, Gothenburg; and Spencer Walahoski, Overton; earned 5th place overall representing Nebraska at the National 4-H Meats Contest at Kansas State University.

The Dawson County 4-H Meats team placed 5th overall at the National 4-H Meats Contest held at Kansas State University and the American Royal. Team members included Helene Keiser of Gothenburg, Emma Peterson of Gothenburg, Jacie Wolfinger of Lexington, and Spencer Walahoski of Overton.

The team placed 3rd in pork judging, 4th in beef judging, 5th in retail cut identification, 4th in oral reasons and 8th in retail cut judging. In the individual rankings, Dawson County team member Helene Keiser earned 2nd in beef judging and 7th in oral reasons. Walahoski ranked 7th in beef judging, 9th in pork judging and 10th in retail cut identification. The team was coached by Curt Rickertsen of Lexington.

The 2021 American Royal National 4-H Meat Judging and Identification Contest is conducted by the American Meat Science Association and hosted by Kansas State University.

The contest was held Tuesday, October 19th at the Kansas State University Meat lab in Weber Hall in Manhattan, Kansas. The awards breakfast on Wednesday, October 20th was held at the American Royal Building in Kansas City.

The contest consisted of 30 retail cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and variety cuts to identify as to specie, primal and retail names, type of cut as steak, chop, roast or slice and cooking method. In addition, the team placed a class of fresh hams, beef loins, ribeye steaks, pork loin chops, beef and pork carcasses. Three sets of oral reasons were given by the 4-H members to complete the contest. Texas, Kansas, Wyoming, and Virginia were the top four teams.

Dawson County has a strong history of 4-H meats judging and identification at the county, state, and national levels. Some of the past teams’ results include 2018 the Dawson County team was 4th overall, 8th in 2015, 10th in 2014, and 8th in 2008. The 4-H meats program brings livestock production full circle from the farm to the plate. Judging and identifying the final cuts of beef, pork and lamb show 4-H youth what is desirable in the marketplace and what to strive for when raising their own livestock.

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation, Dawson County 4-H Foundation and Dawson County Cattlemen provide major support which allowed the team to participate and represent Nebraska in the national event. Several workouts on retail cuts, identification and judging were provided by Plum Creek Market Place Meats Department Manager Kirk Marriott and staff. The team stopped at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and did a work-out with Brianna Buseman, Youth Meats Extension Assistant Educator, on the way to the National Contest.

Parents of the team are Joe and Carol Keiser, Paul and Shannon Peterson, Jake and Janice Wolfinger, and Jared and Kris Walahoski. In addition, the team experienced the American Royal Livestock Exposition, Escape Room, and other sites along the way.

The Dawson County 4-H Meats team placed 5th overall at the National 4-H Meats Contest held at Kansas State University and the American Royal. Team members included Helene Keiser of Gothenburg, Emma Peterson of Gothenburg, Jacie Wolfinger of Lexington, and Spencer Walahoski of Overton.

The team placed 3rd in pork judging, 4th in beef judging, 5th in retail cut identification, 4th in oral reasons and 8th in retail cut judging. In the individual rankings, Dawson County team member Helene Keiser earned 2nd in beef judging and 7th in oral reasons. Walahoski ranked 7th in beef judging, 9th in pork judging and 10th in retail cut identification. The team was coached by Curt Rickertsen of Lexington.

The 2021 American Royal National 4-H Meat Judging and Identification Contest is conducted by the American Meat Science Association and hosted by Kansas State University.

The contest was held Tuesday, October 19th at the Kansas State University Meat lab in Weber Hall in Manhattan, Kansas. The awards breakfast on Wednesday, October 20th was held at the American Royal Building in Kansas City.

The contest consisted of 30 retail cuts of beef, pork, lamb, and variety cuts to identify as to specie, primal and retail names, type of cut as steak, chop, roast or slice and cooking method. In addition, the team placed a class of fresh hams, beef loins, ribeye steaks, pork loin chops, beef and pork carcasses. Three sets of oral reasons were given by the 4-H members to complete the contest. Texas, Kansas, Wyoming, and Virginia were the top four teams.

Dawson County has a strong history of 4-H meats judging and identification at the county, state, and national levels. Some of the past teams’ results include 2018 the Dawson County team was 4th overall, 8th in 2015, 10th in 2014, and 8th in 2008. The 4-H meats program brings livestock production full circle from the farm to the plate. Judging and identifying the final cuts of beef, pork and lamb show 4-H youth what is desirable in the marketplace and what to strive for when raising their own livestock.

The Nebraska 4-H Foundation, Dawson County 4-H Foundation and Dawson County Cattlemen provide major support which allowed the team to participate and represent Nebraska in the national event. Several workouts on retail cuts, identification and judging were provided by Plum Creek Market Place Meats Department Manager Kirk Marriott and staff. The team stopped at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and did a work-out with Brianna Buseman, Youth Meats Extension Assistant Educator, on the way to the National Contest.

Parents of the team are Joe and Carol Keiser, Paul and Shannon Peterson, Jake and Janice Wolfinger, and Jared and Kris Walahoski. In addition, the team experienced the American Royal Livestock Exposition, Escape Room, and other sites along the way.

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