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Kansas 4-H Tip Sheet

April 15, 2021

Change in Kansas 4-H Meats Judging team selection

Submitted by Wade M. Weber

After the careful consideration of resources from the 4-H Youth Development Department and the Animal Science Department at Kansas State University, endorsement from the Extension Ag Agents Association, and advocacy from meat judging volunteers from across the state, the following outlines the creation of a meat judging “All-Star” team for Kansas 4-H Youth Development. This opportunity will enable a more strategic use of department resources and further enhance the relationship with Animal Science Department with future K-State students through this high quality learning experience. The creation of such a team will allow the state winning county/extension district team to compete at the National Western, thus preserving their ability to compete at a national competition as a team.

Outline for Kansas 4-H Meat Judging “All-Star” Team
• The State Meat Judging Contest held at the 4-H Sweepstakes will serve as the qualifying contest
• Top 8 individuals who are eligible to compete in the National Contest will be given the opportunity to compete for the “All-Star” team
• Participation in 2-3 weekend workout sessions at Kansas State will be required to be selected as a team member
• Total points from combined state contest and practice sessions will be used to determine the representatives selected for the “All-Star” team participation at the National Contest held in conjunction with the American Royal and hosted at Kansas State in October
• Kansas State will provide coaching through current and former meat judging team members and graduate students
• Chaperones will be recruited as needed to meet 4-H risk management requirements before travel
• The county/extension district winning team will be provided the opportunity to compete at the National Western in January
• “All-Star” team members will complete their 4-H meat judging eligibility following their competition at the National Contest in October

Benefits to the Creation of a 4-H Meat Judging “All-Star” Team
• Re-energized enthusiasm for Meat Judging through educational opportunities. Currently, only full teams have the ability to earn eligibility to compete at national competitions. Single competitors presently from counties/extension districts are unable to continue the learning opportunities without team members.
• Allows for students who excel individually to be recognized and have the ability to compete nationally without the requirement of local team success
• Does not force teams to make the decision of whether or not to “burn” younger student’s eligibility in order for older students to compete at the National Contest
• Allows for greater learning opportunities for younger students with the ability to continue to maintain eligibility while teammates are allowed to compete at the National Competition
• Will increase long-term participation in the meat judging competition and allow for students to have greater exposure to the meat industry
• Chance for intense meat judging training from K-State Animal Science graduate student for furthering skills and mastery in animal sciences
• Introduction and exposure to Kansas State University and the College of Agriculture’s Animal Science department for recruitment
• Opportunity for more diverse young people to represent Kansas at a National Contest
• Focus on older, mature youth for a step-by-step growth progression; ability to retain older 4-H members enrolled
• Teens train, mentor and encourage younger 4-H members by sharing skills learned through participation on “All-Star” team
• Increased sharing of meat judging knowledge throughout state
• Increased knowledge and maturity improve readiness for National 4-H Contest

If you have questions, please contact Wade Weber, Department Head, 4-H Youth Development (wweber@ksu.edu) or Dr. Travis O'Quinn, Assistant Professor (Meats Judging) travisoquinn@ksu.edu