Angelo State University’s Meat Judging Team finished second out of 19 teams and placed three individuals in the top 10 at the 2013 American Meat Science Association’s (AMSA) International Meat Judging Contest on Nov. 17 in Dakota City, Neb.
One of only two teams not from a Division I university, the ASU team scored 4,090 points to finish behind only Texas Tech University (4,141 points) in the overall standings.  The AMSA International is considered the national championship of collegiate meat judging, and as runner-up, ASU is the 2013 Reserve National Champion.  It is the highest finish ever for ASU at the national contest.

 As they began to announce the overall team standings, I knew we were in the top five,” said ASU coach Troy Tarpley, a graduate student from Fort Stockton.  “As the fifth-place team was announced, I held my breath, hoping that I didn’t hear ‘Angelo State’ announced.  Fourth place was announced, then third, and then they announced the reserve national champion as Angelo State University.  I could hardly believe it.  For the first time ever, I was speechless.”

In the team event standings, ASU posted seven top-five rankings, finishing first in Beef Grading and Overall Beef; second in Lamb Judging; third in Beef Judging; fourth in Specifications; and fifth in Placing and Reasons.  ASU also finished eighth in Pork Judging.

Individually for ASU, Ty Crooks of Grape Creek placed third overall with 1,045 points, finishing just behind Mallorie Phelps (1,047 points) and Christy Woerner (1,049) of Texas Tech.  ASU’s Sondra Lohse of San Marcos and Clay Kelley of Ballinger placed seventh and 10th, respectively, out of more than 70 competitors.  Kelley was named to the AMSA All-America first team, based on his contest performances throughout the year and his grade point average.         

Crooks finished first in Beef Grading, Lamb Judging and Overall Beef, and took fifth in Reasons; Lohse finished second in Overall Beef, third in Beef Grading and ninth in Beef Judging; and Kelley finished sixth in Reasons, seventh in Pork Judging and ninth in Overall Beef.  Other ASU team members are Clayton Meyerhoff of Lynn, Kan., and Derrick Thivierge of Marion.  Kelley received the Rachel Hamilton Team Spirit Award from his teammates.

“I am proud of these five individuals’ growth and passion through this last year and half of judging,” said Michael Boenig, ASU research associate and team coach.  “They have gone through a lot of ups and downs, but through the thick and the thin they have always persevered to become better and become positive assets to the agriculture world.

“The 2013 ASU Meat Judging Team fully embraces the ‘Building a Culture of Distinction’ statement we have adopted, and I could not be prouder or happier for the students, the coaches and the program,” said faculty sponsor Dr. Kirk Braden, associate professor of animal science.

Other teams competing at the AMSA International, in order of finish, were Kansas State University, Texas A&M University, Oklahoma State University, Fresno State University, South Dakota State University, Michigan State University, University of Missouri, University of Wyoming, West Texas A&M University, University of Illinois, University of Georgia, Colorado State University, Iowa State University, North Dakota State University, University of Kentucky, University of Nebraska and Ohio State University.         

For more information on the Meat Judging Team, call the ASU Agriculture Department at 325-942-2027.