The Australian meat judging team has returned home after completing its tour of the US, producing some excellent results in two large US meat judging competitions.
The Australian team is made up of young members selected from universities and ag colleges across the country, having competed earlier for their learning institutions in the domestic intercollegiate meat judging competition.
The 2012 team of five students, which arrived in the US a month ago, included Naomi Hobson (Charles Sturt University), Lucy Sheppard (Sydney University), Melissa Adams (Tocal Agricultural College), Katelyn Braine (Charles Sturt University) and Claire Payne (Murdoch University).
During the National Western Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest in Denver, the team took a first and third place in the pork and lamb judging divisions, third in the overall placings, and fifth in questions. In individual award categories Katelyn Braine was placed fourth in pork carcases, Lucy Sheppard second in the questions division and Naomi Hobson sixth in the alternate contest.
At the second contest, the Southwest Invitational Meat Judging Contest hosted by Tyson Meats in Amarillo and Texas Tech University, the girls also did well, earning fifth place in grading and beef judging, fourth in lamb, third in pork and second place for questions. In individual categories Lucy Sheppard was third in lamb judging; Claire Payne took first in pork; and the team finished fifth overall.
Providing coaching support during the tour were Brad Robinson (Carpenter Beef, WA) and Emma Hegarty (DEEDI, Qld).
“The team’s performance and focus during the entire trip was commendable, and the members represented Australia and their Universities proudly,” Emma said.
Outside of competitions, the group visited abattoirs, feedlots, ranches, research centres and universities as well as receiving presentations from speakers from within the US meat and livestock industries.
The team was supported by Meat & Livestock Australia, the Australian Meat Processors Corporation and T&R Pastoral Company, Murray Bridge.