(Press Release) 

Texas Tech University’s Meat Science Academic Quiz Bowl Team earned the title of National Champions at the 72nd Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) held June 23-26 in Fort Collins, Colorado. Two teams from Texas Tech went head to head in the final round of competition after eliminating 27 teams from other universities. 

The 2019 Undergraduate Quiz Bowl contest, hosted by Colorado State University and the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) and sponsored by Hormel Foods, was an intense and competitive event featuring 116 undergraduates competing on 29 teams. This is the ninth time Texas Tech has won the competition, previously capturing the title in 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2016.

RMC is an annual conference sponsored by AMSA that brings together meat scientists and students from academia, industry and government.

“The students who competed are extremely intelligent,” said Mark Miller, professor and the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Science. “Their performance at the Reciprocal Meat Conference was a great reflection of the high academic standards of our Department of Animal & Food Sciences.”

The 2019 team members are:

  • Jordan Bachler from Florence, who graduated in May
  • Madison Belcher, a junior from Texico, New Mexico
  • Megan Eckhardt, a senior from New Braunfels
  • Jacie Henefey, a junior from D’Hanis
  • Emma Lessing, a sophomore from Hondo
  • Greg Matocha, a sophomore from La Grange
  • Conner McKinzie, a junior from Stephenville
  • April Molitor from Hondo, who graduated in May
  • Chandler Sarchet, a senior from Anton
  • Colton Smith, a senior from Kingfisher, Oklahoma
  • Shae Lynn Suttle, a sophomore from Idalou

The team was coached by meat science graduate students Taylor Horton, Tommy Fletcher and Cole Perkins.

Faculty and alumni awards

Alumnus Jodie Pitcock, who currently works as the assistant field chief for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), received the 2019 AMSA Intercollegiate Meat Judging Meritorious Service Award, and alumna Gretchen Mafi, a current meat science professor at Oklahoma State University, received the 2019 AMSA Distinguished Teaching Award.

Mindy Brashears, USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety, was the keynote speaker at the event. Brad Johnson, the Gordon W. Davis Regent’s Chair in Meat Science and Muscle Biology, participated in a reciprocation session at the event.

RMC Processed Meat Judging Contes

The RMC Processed Meat Judging Contest also was held during the Reciprocal Meat Conference. Students evaluated and answered questions on six classes of various processed products. Additionally, there was a keep/cull bacon class, 10 processed meat product defects and retail identification.

Texas Tech University took top honors in the Undergraduate Division and second place in the Graduate Student Division.