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Kenmare's FFA meat judging team does it again...

In recent years, Kenmare’s FFA meat judging team has built up a reputation for itself on the national stage and continued that tradition Jan. 9 in Denver.

1/19/16 (Tue)

Kenmare High School FFA meat judging team... From left, Shelby Brekhus, McKayla Neubauer, Kylee Nelson, Dalton Petersen, Dakota Petersen and Marissa Jensen, represented Kenmare and North Dakota in FFA meat judging competition at the Western National Roundup in Denver Jan. 9. The team topped all competitors that included 10 states.

By Marvin Baker

In recent years, Kenmare’s FFA meat judging team has built up a reputation for itself on the national stage and continued that tradition Jan. 9 in Denver.

The team, made up of Shelby Brekhus, McKayla Neubauer, Kylee Nelson, Dalton Petersen,  Dakota Petersen, and Marissa Jensen, topped all competitors in the Western National Roundup that included 10 states.

More impressive is the fact that Neubauer finished tied for first in the two individual competitions and Nelson was one of the other competitors tied with Neubauer.

“The team from North Dakota had a dominating performance in beef grading as well as the exam and questions portion of the contest,” said Dale Woerner, superintendent of the competition, and a professor of animal sciences at Colorado State University in Fort Collins. “Being high individual is truly an outstanding accomplishment, and having the top two individuals overall from the same team is even more spectacular.”

Woerner noted that Kenmare was dominating throughout the competition, something not often seen in the roundup.

“Winning here at the Western National Roundup means you have beaten the best of the best across the United States,” said Melissa Barton, Western National Roundup coordinator. “The meats ID contest was honored to be held at the JBS (meat packing) location in Greeley. It is an honor to just compete in the contest and have the opportunity to be inside this world-renowned facility.”

In meat grading, four Kenmare students finished in the top 10. A total of 39 competed.

Neubauer finished tied with Jeremy Stoten of Indiana with 58 points. Dakota Peterson was right behind in third, with 56. Dalton Peterson was fifth with 54 points and Nelson finished ninth with 52.

In the retail identification, Nelson and Neubauer shined, both tied for first place with five other students who each scored 180 points.

Stephani Dill of Colorado, Sheridan Stewart of Wyoming, Teter Bailey and Cate McLintock and McKayla Kilgore of Oklahoma, all shared the top spot.

Dalton Petersen finished 19th in the retail ID competition with 166 points and Dakota Petersen was 24th with 161.

In team competition, Kenmare, representing North Dakota, was first overall with a score of 2,036 points, beating out second-place Texas by 55 points.

Wyoming finished third, Oklahoma was fourth and New Mexico fifth. Minnesota finished in eighth place overall.

In team grading, Kenmare also finished first, knocking off Oklahoma by a full 10 points as the Kenmare clan compiled 168 points in that competition.

New Mexico was third, Wyoming fourth and Texas fifth. Again, Minnesota finished eighth.

In team retail identification, Kenmare dropped to third place overall, but narrowly missed second, just four points below Oklahoma’s 530. Texas won that competition with 536, while Wyoming was fourth and New Mexico fifth.

In team meat judging placings, Kenmare was sixth with 871 points.

Colorado won with 890, Texas was second with 882, Oklahoma and Wyoming were tied for third with 878 and New Mexico was fifth with 874.

Teams were required to solve meat formulation problems and take a written exam, identify retail meat cuts, judge beef quality and yield grading, place the meats in four beef or pork classes and answer questions on placing of the meats.

The competition included ground beef, boneless meat ingredients and carcass yield.

The Western National Roundup is much like the national FFA convention, but also includes 4-H members and some college students in the three-days of activities. It is headquartered at the Renaissance Hotel in Denver and contains more than a dozen contests and several dozen workshops.

“It is an honor to compete here because it is a qualifying event,” said Barton. “These contestants have won at local, county, district and state level to get here. Many of them have beaten numerous teams and have faced a lot of pressure to make it to this national venue.”

For their participation, all students were given passes to attend the National Western Stock Show, also held in Denver.

North Dakota State University was one of eight sponsoring universities for the prestigious competition... Read EVERY WORD on EVERY PAGE of The Kenmare News by subscribing--online or in print!