• Youths judge a class of fresh hams at the 4-H State Meats Judging Contest.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Extension 4-H State Meats Judging Contest on Feb. 17 drew 54 competing 4-H members from across the state.

Held in partnership with the MU Meat Science Program, the event gave contestants the opportunity to hone their judging skills and explore career and educational opportunities, said Maria Calvert, MU Extension state 4-H agriculture educator.

Junior division (ages 8-13)

Teams: First place, Monroe County 1; second place, Laclede County; third place, Jasper County.

Individuals: First, Aiden Wimmer, Callaway County; second, Luke Wigginton, Laclede County; third, Robert Quinn, Monroe County; fourth, Cheyenne Morrow, Monroe County; fifth, Colbe Kendrick, Monroe County; sixth, Adam Conley, Monroe County; seventh, Gloriahnna Lenze, Jasper County; eighth, Harper Johansen, Laclede County; ninth, Kaitlyn Chipman, Monroe County; 10th, Laney Prince, Laclede County.

Senior division (ages 14-18)

Teams: First place, Audrain County A; second place, Laclede County; third place, Monroe County.

Individuals: First, Kate Robnett, Audrain County; second, Callie Jennings, Audrain County; third, Austin Pope, Jasper County; fourth, Wyatt Wigginton, Laclede County; fifth, Rory Wigginton, Laclede County; sixth, Dylan Aufdenberg, Cape Girardeau County; seventh, Aubrey Youse, Monroe County; eighth, Gianna Quinn, Monroe County; ninth, Eliah Nisbett, Laclede County; 10th, Ella Duenke, Audrain County.

The members of the championship team from Audrain County will advance to represent Missouri at the National 4-H Meats Judging Contest held in the fall as part of the American Royal.

Youths in the meat judging program develop key life skills to aid in their future career success, and success as lifelong consumers, Calvert said, noting that 84% of participants feel they are educated consumers of agricultural products and 86% are seeking to learn more; 83% are comfortable sharing their knowledge of agriculture with others; 77% feel they are an advocate for the agriculture industry and 63% are seeking a career in agriculture. A majority (55%) said their involvement in this project area and contest has encouraged them to continue their education in a related field. After competing, more than half of the youths said they had more knowledge in the areas of carcass judging, cuts judging, meats judging terminology and giving reasons than prior to the contest.

Learn more about the Missouri 4-H meats judging program. at

Programs offered by Missouri 4-H would not be possible without support from our partners. Major support for Missouri 4-H agriculture programs is provided by the Missouri 4-H Foundation in partnership with Ballenger Propane, Corteva Agriscience, FCS Financial, MFA Foundation, Missouri Association of Meat Processors, Missouri Farm Bureau Federation, Missouri Holstein Association, Missouri Soybean Association, National 4-H Council, Safety National, Eunice Campbell and Dr. Robert E. “Bud” Hertzog.

About 4-H

More than 55,000 members strong, Missouri 4-H is an active, dynamic organization of young people who are learning, growing and preparing to be the leaders of today and tomorrow – making a real difference in their community, country and world. 4-H is the youth development program of the University of Missouri and the nation’s Cooperative Extension System. For more information on Missouri 4-H, visit


Youths judge a class of fresh hams at the 4-H State Meats Judging Contest.

Youths identify various cuts of meat during the 4-H State Meats Judging Contest.

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