Texas Tech meat judging camps giving hands-on experience to students

Published: Jun. 18, 2023 at 8:19 PM CDT
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Students from across the country spent a few days in Lubbock this week, learning more about how meat goes from the farm to the grocery store.

After winning multiple national championships in the past few years, the Texas Tech Meat Judging Team is passing what they know onto students, providing hands-on experience to students as early as sixth grade.

A senior on the meat judging team, Anna Wyle, said campers learn in the classrooms and the cooler.

“See the carcasses, see the cuts, learn about grading and just all aspects of the industry,” Wyle said.

One 11th grade camper from Texico, New Mexico said being in the cooler is most beneficial. Jayda Goodson said she can take what she’s learned back to high school competitions.

“To see them all lined up and be able to look at them, and get that experience of seeing the different qualities, different sizes and stuff that we will see within the next year of meat judging,” Goodson said.

The experience attendees have gained will also help them into college and after. Wyle said they are learning real world information.

“Which is what is done in the industry,” Wyle said. “Like, when you go to the store and buy a prime ribeye, they’re actually learning how to determine how do you know if it’s prime or how do you know if it’s choice.”

Mason Franklin is an 11th grader from Texico, New Mexico who is at the camp for the second time. He said what he’s learning helps him better understand the process from pasture to packaging.

“Really has opened up my view on how meat goes to the grocery store, and how we get our product from farm to table,” Franklin said.

Kadance Kummer took a 15-houd drive from Wyoming for the camp. She said even though she’s been involved in judging for eight years at home, she knows from Texas Tech it’s possible to go even further.

“However, I don’t feel as advanced as I should be, so getting to do this and getting to be at Texas Tech University was a really big step for me,” Kummer said.

As they head back home, these students can tell the rest of their herd what they learned.

“They’ll be able to go back to their communities and really be an advocate for where their meat comes from,” Wyle said.

Some of the campers told KCBD this has influenced them to come back to be a Red Raider and wear the red hard hat for the judging team in the future.