The team from Marathon County took top honors in the senior division of the Wisconsin 4-H Meats Judging Contest held Feb. 18 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Meat Laboratory. Team members were: Stephanie Witberler, Emilie Pauls, Kailen Smerchek and Cortney Zimmerman. They were coached by Mark Zimmerman. These 4-H members will represent Wisconsin at the National 4-H Meats Judging Contest.
The second-place senior team was from Dodge County. Team members included: Natalie Siedschlag, Morgan Wollin, Riley Kappell and Kaytlynn Meyer. The team was coached by Christine Siedschlag.
The state contest consists of evaluating and ranking classes of hams, beef, pork and lamb carcasses, and two retail cut classes. Competitors also identified 30 retail cuts of beef, pork or lamb and 10 cuts of processed-meats products; quality- and yield-graded five beef carcasses; and completed a 10-question meat label reading exercise. Seniors had to give one set of oral reasons on a carcass class.
New awards were given this year for the top individuals in retail identification and carcass evaluation. The top senior in retail identification was to Zach Mickelson, Columbia County, and the carcass evaluation award went to Stephanie Witberler, Marathon County.
The top 10 senior individual judges, in order, were: Stephanie Witberler, Marathon; Justin Taylor, Columbia; Zach Mickleson, Columbia; Paul Connolly, Grant; Natalie Siedschlag, Dodge; Emilie Pauls, Marathon; Daniel Walsh, Juneau; Kailen Smerchek, Marathon; Cortney Zimmerman, Marathon; and Danielle Chwala, Jefferson.
The top junior team was from Grant County. Team members were: Jessica Patterson, Avery Crooks, Luke
Patterson, Abby Meier and Alayna Barth. The team was coached by Dennis Patterson. The second-place junior team was from Jefferson County. Team members were: Hanna Brattlie, Drew Dettmann, Mackenzie Thom and Rylee Brattlie. The team was coached by Lindsey Knoebel.
The new awards were also given in the junior division. The top junior in retail identification was Cora Kleist, Richland County, and the top junior in carcass evaluation was Jessica Patterson, Grant County.
The top 10 junior individual judges, in order, were: Cora Kleist, Richland; Jessica Patterson, Grant; Avery
Crooks, Grant; Hanna Brattlie, Jefferson; Mae Sann, Marathon; Drew Dettmann, Jefferson; Samantha Rake, Columbia; Luke Patterson, Grant; Abby Meier, Grant; and Talena Sprecher, Richland.
Source: Wisconsin 4-H