Teams from Franklin, Monroe counties take top honors.


COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri Extension 4-H State Meats Judging contest on Feb. 17 drew 48 competitors, said Don Nicholson, Missouri 4-H interim associate director.

The contest is held in partnership with the MU meat science program and MU Collegiate Meats Judging Team. Contestants had the opportunity to hone their judging skills, and explore future career and educational options.

Youth involved with the meat judging program develop key life skills to aid their future career success, said Nicholson. “Through involvement in a 4-H judging team, members must make rapid, logical decisions and defend their decisions via oral reasons. Students improve their critical-thinking and communication abilities. In addition, students become organized and self-disciplined, learn to accept criticism, develop self-confidence, and become leaders.”

Alumni of the program report that success in the meat judging competition has translated to employment opportunities, internships and scholarships.

The top 10 junior (ages 8-13) competitors were Rose Quinn, Monroe County, first; Carlee Long, Monroe County, second; Paighton Witt, Franklin County, third; Morghan Crain, Monroe County, fourth; John Paul Quinn, Monroe County, fifth; Kiley Braun, Platte County, sixth; Alena Nix, Franklin County, seventh; Addie Thomas, Platte County, eighth; Ava Louise Ploch, Franklin County; ninth; and Kendall Nix, Franklin County, 10th.

The top three junior teams represented the following counties: Monroe, first; Platte, second; and Franklin, third.

In the senior division (ages 14-18), the top 10 individual competitors were Marlena Long, Monroe County, first; Toby Taylor, Platte County, second; Truman Byergo, Platte County, third; Kellen Glass, Franklin County, fourth; Emma Rose Bloch, Franklin County, fifth; Eli Grusenmeyer, Platte County, sixth; Lilly Nix, Franklin County, seventh; Samuel Koenig, Cape Girardeau County, eighth; Steven Peters, Cape Girardeau County, ninth; and Bethany Conley, Platte County, 10th.

The top three senior teams represented the following counties: Franklin, first; Platte, second; and Cape Girardeau, third.

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

To find out more information or to join 4-H, please visit

For photos, contact Nicholson at 573-882-5035 or