UNL MAE Team

The University of Nebraska Meat Animal Evaluation Team serves as the capstone judging activity for those interested in the meat animal production industries and is an extra-curricular activity sponsored by the Animal Science Department. The team annually competes in the National Collegiate Meat Animal Evaluation Contest. Without question, this competition may be described as the most rigorous, rewarding, and educational of all contests that a collegiate judge may partake.

The Meat Animal Evaluation Contest is comprised of three different components that strive to integrate all components of the livestock industry. The three-day competition includes a meats division, a breeding animal division, and a market animal evaluation division. Unique to this competition is the fact that students must apply their knowledge of livestock and meat evaluation to not only place classes and answer questions, but to determine true value given current market conditions. Additionally, students are given an opportunity to express their views and knowledge regarding current topics that will have a major impact on the livestock and meat industries through the Communications Challenge component of the competition.

For further information regarding the MAE Team, please contact Dr. Bryan Reiling.


Photo UNL MAE Team
Seated, left to right: Adam Wolfe, Justin Dahlgren, Eric Miller, Grant Potadle, Dane Miller
Standing, left to right: Bryan Reiling (coach), Larry Berger (Dept. Head), Celia Karweik, Justin Ross, Sydney Gehl, Clay Boyles, Brad Bennett (coach)

The Meat Animal Evaluation Team
The National Meat Animal Evaluation Contest is a unique, comprehensive, two-day competition that combines components of meats and livestock judging with real-world evaluation and pricing of commercial livestock and meat products. In addition, students must understand the multitude of different issues facing the livestock and meats industries. This year, nine students accepted the challenge of preparing for this unique learning experience including Clay Boyles (Maryville, MO), Justin Dahlgren (Bertrand, NE), Sydney Gehl (Ericson, NE), Celia Karweik (Hopkins, MI), Dane Miller (Columbus, NE), Eric Miller (Lyons, NE), Grant Potadle (Herman, NE), Justin Ross (Callaway, NE), and Adam Wolfe (Herald, CA).

The Meat Animal Evaluation Contest is a two-day competition that functions to combine meats and livestock judging with real-world valuation of market animals and along with a basic understanding of current issues relative to the meats and livestock industries. It is truly a capstone judging experience.

A total of twelve universities and 117 individuals competed in this competition with UNL placing 5th overall. Within the various divisions, UNL ranked 5th as a team in the breeding animal evaluation, 6th in meats evaluation, and 7th in market animal evaluation across all three species; beef cattle, sheep, and swine. The team placed 6th in the Communications Challenge. Individually, Grant Potadle was the 6th high individual in the market animal division and 9th in swine evaluation across all three components of the contest. Sydney Gehl also ranked among the Top 20 in the breeding animal division.

More important than rankings, participation on this team provides an opportunity for students interested in livestock production to better understand all aspects of the industry; from selection of replacement breeding stock to feeder calf grading to feedlot cattle and carcass pricing! These experiences will hopefully provide a catalyst for their future career success in the livestock and meats industries. The team was coached by Mr. Brad Bennett and Dr. Bryan Reiling.