Three Texas A&M Students named to All-American Meat Judging Team

By: Olivia Norton DAKOTA CITY- Three members of the Texas A&M Meat Judging Team were selected for the Senior Division All-American Meat Judging Team at the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest held Nov. 18, 2013, at Tyson Foods in Dakota City, Neb.

Left, Mallory Phelps, Jessie Hoffman, J.Boyd Vaughn

Left, Mallorie Phelps, Jessie Hoffman, J.Boyd Vaughan

Each year the American Meat Science Association recognizes students for their performance in judging and their grade point average by naming them to the All-American teams. Mallorie Phelps, Jessie Hoffman, and J. Boyd Vaughan were among the eight students from across the country who received this high honor. Phelps, from Grandview, is a senior animal science major. She is a member of the Saddle & Sirloin Club and is an Aggie Rep.  “Winning the first team All-American Award is the greatest honor a judge can receive, it signifies the culmination of many hours of hard work, dedication and success, not only in the cooler, but also in the classroom, and I am truly honored to have received this award,” Phelps said. Hoffman, from Kennedy, is a senior animal science major. “To be selected for the All American team is a huge accomplishment.  It was the result of a lot of hard work and putting my whole heart into this team,” Hoffman said. Vaughan, from Runge, is a senior agricultural economics major. He also is a member of the Saddle & Sirloin Club. “I have been so fortunate to be on a team of such elite judges, we all push each other to achieve the highest goals possible and that has been evident this season,” Vaughan said. To complement success on the individual level, the Meat Judging Team finished fourth overall, bringing a successful close to this season. The contest was won by Texas Tech University, followed by Angelo State University and Kansas State University. In team competition, the Aggies showed a strong presence finishing third in beef grading, fourth in pork judging, second in beef judging, fifth in specifications and third in reasons. MJT-InternationalThis year’s team members include Mallorie Phelps from Grandview, Drew Cassens from Burleson, Lindsey Turner from Georgetown, Cameron Olson from Rockyview, Canada, Grayson Russell from Mount Pleasant, Andrew Fry from Dumas, Kate McCarthy from Leander, Jessie Hoffman from Kennedy, Courtney Hemphill from Lohn, all animal science majors, and J.Boyd Vaughan from Runge, agricultural economics. Animal science graduate student Leslie Frenzel from New Berlin heads the team as coach and Dr. Davey Griffin, professor and Extension meat specialist, is the team coordinator This brings to a close a very rewarding season. Earlier this season, the meat judging team clenched the overall team award at the American Royal Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest, fifth high team at the Eastern National Meat Judging Contest and second high team at the High Plains Meat Judging Contest. Spirit Award Andrew Fry, a senior from Dumas, was presented the 2013 Rachel Hamilton Spirit Award. This spirit award is named in memory of Rachel Hamilton who served the American Meat Science Association as program director of meat judging for four years until her death. The award is voted on by members of each team and recognizes the one team member whose winning approach exemplifies Rachel’s love of meats judging. “Receiving this award is an incredible honor, but it became even more special knowing that is was voted on by my teammates,” said Fry. “This season we learned a lot about meat judging but more so, we grew as a family bringing about friendships and memories that won’t soon be forgotten.”


Olivia Norton is a sophomore Animal Science major from Texarkana, Texas.

For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at or (979) 845-1542.

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