Meat judging

Members of the Columbia County 4-H National Meat Judging Team and their coach during the Western National Round-Up in Denver, CO. Left to right, Todd Taylor (coach); Faith Baerwolf (Columbus); Hayden Taylor (Arlington); Justin Taylor (Arlington); Zachary Mickelson (DeForest); and Samantha Rake (Lodi).

The Columbia County 4-H Meat Judging team brought home top ten placings in all four categories of the National Western 4-H Roundup Meat Judging Contest.

Members of the team included: Justin Taylor (Arlington); Samantha Rake (Lodi); Hayden Taylor (Arlington); Zachary Mickelson (DeForest); and Faith Baerwolf (Columbus). All are members of the Arlington Prairie Producers 4-H Club except Baerwolf and she’s a member of the South Columbus Willing Workers 4-H Club. The team was coached by Todd Taylor of rural Arlington.

The Columbia County youth were part of a group of more than 1,200 attendees from 35 states who participated in the National 4-H/FFA Roundup. This conference is held annually and coincides with the National Western Show in Denver, CO. This year’s event ran Jan. 8-12 and celebrated its 100th year. 4-H and FFA members between the ages of 14 and 19 qualify for Roundup by winning their home state’s contest or being chosen to represent their state. The Columbia County 4-H Meat Judging team won the opportunity to represent Wisconsin after placing second in the state’s meat judging contest in the spring of 2019.

While at the contest, Columbia County’s team competed quite well. In the four categories, the group placed in the top ten of each one. In Meat Judging “Total Placings,” the team was third, just six points behind the first place finishing team from Texas. In Meat Judging “Total Reasons,” the team was the fifth place finishing team and in Meat Judging “Overall” and “Retail Cuts Identification,” the team was the seventh place finisher in both.

As individuals, Columbia County’s Justin Taylor earned first place overall nationally in the Meat Judging “Total Placings” category and ninth place overall nationally in the Meat Judging “Total Reasons” category. Another team individual who earned top honors was Samantha Rake. She earned 10th place overall nationally in the Meat Judging “Total Placings” category. The entire Columbia County team has been exhibiting livestock for all of their 4-H careers and these national awards are quite an accomplishment.

For more information about this 4-H event and others, please contact Pat Wagner, Columbia County 4-H Positive Youth Development Educator at 608-742-9685 or 4-H enrollment is always open.

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