Suwannee 4-H Senior Meat judging team placed 3rd in the State

What an in-person meat judging contest would typically look like.
-Photo Courtesy UF/IFAS by Tyler Jones

By Kara Croft, 4-H Program Assistant Suwannee County

Live Oak, Fla., – The Suwannee County 4-H youth set their minds to competing in the State Meat Judging competition that is held every year in Gainesville.

One of our graduating senior 4-H members, Makenzie Greaves, offered to coach this year’s team since she had experience at this competition. The youth worked with us here at the Suwannee County Extension Office to create a practice schedule and to visit local grocery stores to learn about different cuts of meat.

For this competition, youth must be able to identify the following things when looking at a piece of meat. For example, what species, primal, cut, and how that piece is usually cooked. The youth members met twice a week for 10 weeks, many of the practices were switched to a virtual platform due to the coronavirus. They studied, watched videos, came up with easy ways to distinguish cuts of meat from each other. This helped each team member become better individuals and better as a team.

After the competition was postponed and the grocery store visits had to be cancelled. They began to think that competing would have to wait until next year to see where their hard work had taken them. The contest was set to be held on August 8th, 2020 but it would be held virtually for the health and safety of the staff/participant but, still allowing the youth to compete after all their hard work.

The team was so excited to be able to participate in their first ever virtual contest, along with a virtual awards ceremony. The Suwannee 4-H Senior Meat judging team placed 3rd in the State! We are so proud of Gabe Cumbess, Abigail Corbin, and Dixie Corbin for working hard despite the obstacles due to coronavirus. This youth meat judging team represented Suwannee County very well at the state level!

In the overall contest Abigail placed 8th, Gabe placed 9th, and Dixie placed 11th. We are grateful that for the leadership and dedication that these youth displayed during this time.

UF/IFAS Suwannee County Extension is an Equal Opportunity Institution.