UNL Meats Judging Team

Faculty Advisor:


Team Coach:

UNL ANSC Meats Judging Team
Front Row (L to R):  Sara Sieren (coach), Laura Gorecki, Hannah Kesterson, Brandy Cleveland (coach)Back Row (L to R):  Larry Berger (Department Head), Jacob Wolff, Grant Meiergerd, Kolin Scheele,  and Ty Schmidt (advisor & coach)

Meat judging consists of evaluating the differences in composition and quality between various meat cuts. But more importantly, meat evaluation develops essential life skills that can be used throughout life regardless of career choice. Communication and critical thinking skills are developed by making logical decisions and defending the decision through written reasons. Students learn how develop as leaders and accept constructive criticism, as well as gaining a sense of teamwork and bonding.

Our alumni would testify that being a part of the meat judging team had a positive impact on their life and helped develop them into the person they are today. It is an excellent way to get involved with a competitive University team that reaps endless benefits.

Current Meats Judging Team



UNL 2015 Meats Judging Team


Meat Judging consists of evaluating the differences in composition and quality between beef, pork, and lamb carcasses and various meat cuts. But more importantly, meat evaluation develops essential life skills that can be used throughout life regardless of career choice. Communication and critical thinking skills are developed by making logical decisions and defending the decision through written reasons. Students learn how to develop as leaders and accept constructive criticism, as well as gaining a sense of how to work with others. In addition, judging provides students with the opportunity to network by meet students from other schools as well as people who are working in the animal science industry.

Our alumni would testify that being a part of the meat judging team had a positive impact on their life and helped develop them into the person they are today. It is an excellent way to get involved with a competitive University team that reaps endless benefits.

The 2015 UNL Junior Meat Judging Team has competed in three contests this spring, including:

  • National Western Meat Judging Contest in Denver, CO
  • Southwestern Meat Judging Contest in Ft. Worth, TX
  • Iowa State University Meat Evaluation Contest in Ames, IA

2015 UNL Meats Judging Team
Members of the 2015 Junior Meat Judging Team Are:
Joseph Bennier-Uradilla,NE
John Essink-Syracuse, NE
Rachel Johnson-Raymond, NE
Kelsey Scheer- St. Paul, NE
Molly Goin-Eagan, MN
Ashtyn Shrewsbury- Alliance, NE

They have had multiple top 5 placings in the spring and are looking forward to a competitive fall.

In the fall, the team will travel to

  • Eastern National Meat Judging Contest in Wyalusing, PA
  • American Royal Meat Judging Contest in Omaha, NE
  • Cargill High Plains Meat Judging Contest in Friona, TX
  • International Meat Judging Contest in Dakota City, NE

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ty Schmidt (402-472-6772, tschmidt4@unl.edu)
Team Coach: Sara Sieren, Animal Science MS Graduate Student (402-472-6497, ssieren2@unl.edu)

UNL 2014 Meats Judging Team

2014 Meat Judging Team
Members of the 2014 Meat Judging Team are:
Laura Gorecki- Laura comes to us from Farwell, Nebraska. This fall she will be a senior in animal science, business option with minors in leadership and communication. She is heavily involved in Block and Bridle, Collegiate Cattlemen, Nebraska Human Resource Institute, and Husker Food Connection. Upon completion of her degree, Laura plans to work in the beef industry in consumer relations or marketing.

Hannah Kesterson- She is originally from Alliance, Nebraska and she will be a senior this fall majoring in food science. Her extracurricular activities include Block and Bridle, Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, Nebraska Beef Industry Scholars Program, and UNL Collegiate Cattlemen. After graduation, Hannah plans to return to a rural community in the Midwest to pursue a career in the agriculture industry.

Grant Meiergerd- Resides from Fremont, Nebraska. Grant graduated from UNL this past December with a degree in animal science, meat science option. While Grant was at UNL, he worked for the UNL Meat Science department and was active in the CASNR community. Today, Grant works in the meat industry as a quality control supervisor for Tyson Foods out of one of their plants in Texas.

Kolin Scheele- Kolin grew up in Odell, Nebraska. He will be a senior this fall majoring in animal science, production management option with a minor in entrepreneurship agribusiness. He is very involved in several aspects of the beef industry, as well as the Engler Entrepreneurship Program, Block and Bridle, NBIS, and Collegiate Cattlemen. Kolin plans to attended graduate school in ruminant nutrition and obtain a job in the beef industry prior to graduation.
Jacob Wolff- Jacob is originally from Norfolk, Nebraska. He will be a senior this fall in veterinary science with minors in animal science and agriculture economics. Raised on a farm and cattle feeding operation, Jacob hopes to become a food animal veterinarian, operate a feedlot, and farm after graduation. Outside of the judging team, Jacob is active in the pre-vet club and rodeo association.

The 2014 Meat Judging Team traveled to the following contests:

  1. National Western Meat Judging Contest- Held January 19, 2014 in Denver, CO. The team finished 10th overall. Laura placed 3rd in beef grading.
  2. Southwestern Meat Judging Contest- Held February 2, 2014 in Ft. Worth, TX. The team placed 3rd in beef judging, 3rd in total placings, and finished 9th overall in the contest. Laura received 4th in reasons, 6th in pork judging, as well as 6th in beef judging. Kolin placed 5th in placings, along with 8th in beef judging.
  3. Iowa State University Meat Evaluation Contest- Held February 22, 2014 in Ames, IA. The team placed 1st in pork judging, 2nd in reasons, 3rd in placings, 4th in overall beef, 4th in beef judging, 4th in lamb judging, 5th in beef grading, and finished 5th overall in the contest. There were several individual awards including Hannah placing 2nd in reasons and 2nd in pork judging.
  4. American Royal Meat Judging Contest- Held October 5, 2014 in Omaha, NE. The team placed 2nd in beef grading and finished 7th overall. Hannah placed 4th overall in beef grading.
  5. Eastern National Meat Judging Contest- Held October 18, 2014 in Wyalusing, PA. The team placed 8th overall. Grant was the 4th high individual in the alternate division. Laura placed 5th in specifications and Hannah placed 6th in lamb judging.
  6. Cargill High Plains Meat Judging Contest- Held November 2, 2014 in Friona, TX. The team placed 6th in specifications, 2nd in beef grading, and finished in 8th place overall. There were several team members that received individual awards. Hannah placed 1st in specifications followed by Kolin who placed 1st in lamb judging. Jacob placed 1st in pork judging as well as finishing 8th in beef judging.
  7. International Meat Judging Contest- Held November 16, 2014 in Dakota City, NE. The team placed 2nd in pork judging, 5th in beef grading, and placed 7th overall in the contest. Hannah placed 3rd in beef grading and Jacob placed 8th in pork judging.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ty Schmidt (402-472-6772, tschmidt4@unl.edu)
Team Coach: Brandy Cleveland, Animal Science MS Graduate Student (402-472-6497, bcleveland@huskers.unl.edu)
Team Assistant: Sara Sieren, Animal Science MS Graduate Student

UNL 2013 Meats Judging Team

The 2013 UNL Meat Judging Team has competed in four contests this spring, including:
  • National Western Meat Judging Contest in Denver, Colorado
  • Southwestern Meat Judging Contest in Ft. Worth, Texas
  • Iowa State University Meat Evaluation Contest in Ames, Iowa
  • Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Meat Judging Contest in Houston, Texas.

They have had multiple top 5 placings in the spring and are looking forward to a competitive fall.

In the fall, the team will travel to:

  • Eastern National Meat Judging Contest in Wyalusing, Pennsylvania
  • American Royal Meat Judging Contest in Omaha, Nebraska
  • Cargill Meat Solutions Meat Judging Contest
  • International Meat Judging Contest in Dakota City, Nebraska.

2012 Meats Judging Team

Fall 2012
Fall Intercollegiate Meats Judging Contests

October 21, 2012-American Royal in Omaha, Nebraska
November 18, 2012--International Meat Judging Contest in Dakota City, Nebraska

Spring 2012 Junior Meats Judging Team
2012 Meats Judging Team Photo

Members of the Junior Meats Judging Team are:

2012 Junior Meats Judging Team

Nate Dierks—Nate is a junior Pre-Veterinary major from Elgin, NE. Nate has attended all the contests. He has been early accepted to Iowa State Universities School of Veterinary Medicine and will be leaving in the fall of 2012.
Alex Dierks—Alex is a Freshman Mechanical Engineering major from Elgin, NE. He joined us late, and is learning very fast. He has attended the Iowa State University Meats judging contest, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Meats judging contest.
Eric Miller—Eric is a sophomore Ag. Business/Animal Science major from Lyons, NE. He has attended the Iowa State University Meats judging contest, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Meats judging contest.
Paul Hansen—Paul is an undeclared sophomore, leaning towards an Animal Science major. He is from Winside, NE. Paul has attended all the contests.
Brodie Mackey-- Brodie is an Agricultural Education major from Torrington, WY. He joined us after completing a stellar year on the University of Nebraska Sr. Livestock Judging team. Brodie gave great effort, and competed at the National Western Stock Show.
Molli Wilken—Molli is a sophomore Animal Science major from Bloomfield, NE. She attended the National Western Stock Show only.

The 2012 Junior Meats Judging team traveled to the following contests.

  1. National Western Stock Show—Held January 15th, 2012 in Denver, CO
  2. Iowa State University Meat Evaluation Contest-- Held February 25th, 2012 in Ames, IA. The team finished as the high team in the Summer Sausage Division, and was 5th in the Sectioned and Formed Ham division.
  3. Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo- Held March 3rd, 2012 in Houston, TX. The team finished in 13th, and was led by Paul Hansen who was 5th in lamb judging.

Note: Southwestern Intercollegiate Meat Judging contest was canceled due to regulatory issues at the host facility.

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Dennis Burson (402-472-6457, dburson1@unl.edu)
Team Coach: Derek J. Schroeder, Animal Science MS Graduate Student (402-472-6497, dschroeder819@gmail.com)
Teaching Assistant: Tacy Langemeier (Sr. ASCI major)



2011 Meats Judging Team

The Senior Meats Judging Team will be attending three contests during the 2011 fall:

October 16, 2011--American Royal in Omaha, Nebraska
October 30, 2011--High Plains in Plainview, Texas
November 13, 2011--International Meat Judging Contest in Dakota City, Nebraska

Members of the Senior Meats Judging Team are:

Bailey Hartway, Jr. ASCI major, from West Barre, NY
Joelle Pillen, Jr. ASCI major, from Platte Center, NE
Karen Buettner, Jr. Fine Arts/Photography major, from Grand Island, NE
Chad Storm, Sr. ASCI major, from Albion, NE

Faculty Advisor: Dr. Dennis Burson (402-472-6457, dburson1@unl.edu)
Team Coach: Derek J. Schroeder, Animal Science MS Graduate Student (402-472-6497, dschroeder819@gmail.com)
Teaching Assistant: Tacy Langemeier (Sr. ASCI major)


Meats Judging Team 1990
Meats Judging Team 1988

Meats Judging Team 1987

Meats Judging Team 1986
Meats Judging Team 1985
Meats Judging Team 1984

Meats Judging Team 1983

Meats Judging Team 1982

Meats Judging Team 1981
Meats Judging Team 1980

Meats Judging Team 1979

Meats Judging Team 1978
Meats Judging Team 1977

Meats Judging Team 1976
Meats Judging Team 1975

Meats Judging Team 1974
Meats Judging Team 1973

Meats Judging Team 1972
Meats Judging Team 1971

Meats Judging Team 1970
Meats Judging Team 1969

Meats Judging Team 1968
Meats Judging Team 1967

Meats Judging Team 1966
Meats Judging Team 1965

Meats Judging Team 1964

Meats Judging Team 1963

Meats Judging Team 1962
Meats Judging Team 1961

Meats Judging Team 1960
Meats Judging Team 1959

Meats Judging Team 1958
Meats Judging Team 1957

Meats Judging Team 1956
Meats Judging Team 1955

Meats Judging Team 1954
Meats Judging Team 1953

Meats Judging Team 1952
Meats Judging Team 1951

Meats Judging Team 1950
Meats Judging Team 1949

Meats Judging Team 1948
Meats Judging Team 1948

Meats Judging Team 1947
Meats Judging Team 1942

Meats Judging Team 1941
Meats Judging Team 1940

Meats Judging Team 1939
Meats Judging Team 1938

Meats Judging Team 1937
Meats Judging Team 1936

Meats Judging Team 1936
Meats Judging Team 1936

Meats Judging Team 1935
Meats Judging Team 1934

Meats Judging Team 1934
Meats Judging Team 1933

Meats Judging Team 1932
Meats Judging Team 1931

Meats Judging Team 1930

Meats Judging Team 1929

Meats Judging Team 1929
Meats Judging Team 1929

Meats Judging Team 1928
Meats Judging Team 1928

Meats Judging Team 1927

Meats Judging Team 1927

Meats Judging Team 1926

First International Livestock Expo trophy

Meat Judging Contestants
Meat Judging Contestants

Meat Judging Contestants

Meat Judging Contestants with hanging meat

Meat Judging Contestants with hanging meat
Meat Judging Contestants

Meat Judging Contestants
Meat Judging Contestants

Meats Judging Team trophy