PHS grad competes on college meat judging team

By Tamie Meck

PHS grad competes on college meat judging team | Agriculture, Paonia, People in the News,

Photo submitted Abby Campbell, third from right, is a member of the West Texas A&M University meat judging team that recently won the regional intercollegiate contest.

Abby Campbell, a junior agriculture business and economics major at West Texas A&M University, recently participated in the Cargill High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest held Nov. 10 in Friona, Texas. Campbell is a 2012 graduate of Paonia High School.

In the A-Division contest, the five-member WTAMU team placed first in beef judging, third in specifications, third in beef grading, and fifth in reasons to garner first place overall with 4,141 points. The Division II team placed first in the contest, ahead of D-I schools including Colorado State University, which placed second with 4,135 points, and third-place Oklahoma State University with 4,132 points, according to a press release from WTAMU. The University of Wyoming and Kansas State University, also Division I schools, rounded out the top five placers.

In all, 38 contestants representing six teams participated in the contest. This marks the first win since moving into competition with Division I schools, said Dr. Ty Lawrence, director of the University Meat Laboratory. Until the late 1990s the school competed with smaller division schools.

In individual awards, Campbell earned a fourth-place high individual, second in total placing, fourth in specifications, sixth in beef judging, and sixth in pork judging.

Campbell is a fifth-generation member of the Campbell ranching family and the daughter of Calvin and Tracy Campbell.

"We're very proud of the team," said Lawrence, who credits hard work for the win. Students "all saw the classes in the same manner and function very well as a team."