Niobrara 4-H Meats Team brings hardware home from national contest


NIOBRARA COUNTY – Niobrara County 4-H members represented Wyoming at the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest held in conjunction with the American Royal in Kansas City, Missouri, on October 19. The team composed of Aiden Applegarth, Gracie ZumBrunnen, Melody ZumBrunnen and Kort Bannan earned 2,023 points to place third overall in the contest. They received a plaque donated by the American Royal as well as individual ribbons. Texas won the contest with 2,198 points, Kansas was second with 2,089, Virginia took third with 2,020 and Nebraska rounded out the top five with 2,010. Eleven states were represented in the event.

The Niobrara team was also recognized for placing second in the beef division of the contest, third in oral reasons, fourth in retail cut identification (ID), and fourth in pork.

Individually, Aiden paced the team with 682 total points to claim 10th  place honors overall. Applegarth was also fifth in beef, ninth in ID, tenth in oral reasons and 13th in pork. Gracie just missed the top ten and placed eleventh overall with 680 points. She was also sixth in beef, ninth in oral reasons and 11th in ID. Melody tallied 661 points to place eighteenth overall. She was 10th in pork and eighteenth in oral reasons. Kort rounded out the team with 658 points to place nineteenth overall. In addition, Bannan was 14th in beef, 15th in pork and 16th in ID. There were 44 individuals in the competition.

This team earned the right to compete in this event by earning the Reserve Championship Title at the State Contest in Laramie held last spring. The group has been practicing for this contest since June and was working out two times a week since mid-August.

In addition to the competition, the group toured the University of Wyoming, the University of Nebraska and Kansas State University in Manhattan which was the site of the actual contest. They also enjoyed the American Royal Livestock Show in Kansas City.

Funds for their trip were provided by the Niobrara County 4-H Judging Team fund which is sponsored by numerous Niobrara County donors and friends. They also received funds from the Wyoming State 4-H Foundation. The group greatly appreciates the support of the Niobrara County community.

The group was coached and chaperoned by volunteer 4-H leader Tammie Jensen.

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