Texas A&M University’s collegiate poultry judging team won first place at the 53rd National Collegiate Poultry Judging Contest at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville Nov. 6.
Dr. Craig Coual, team coach and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service poultry specialist, College Station, said the team placed first in egg judging and second in meat judging to win the overall competition by a significant margin. The team finished eight points from first place in the meat division for a clean sweep.
The team includes freshman Madison Vestal and sophomores Mikalah Collins, Ashley Knox, Abby Knox and Wyatt Forrest.
Coufal said the team is made up of five students who are the top performers among dozens in a poultry judging course in the department of poultry sciences. The students learn to rank live commercial chickens’ and turkeys’ characteristics, such as skeletal and meat development, to determine which birds would be most productive.
Team members also grade eggs and processed carcasses according to U.S. Department of Agriculture standards, such as Grade A certification for meats.
This is the poultry judging team’s 16th national championship in 20 collegiate judging contests over the past decade. The team consistently ranks at the top or near the top in collegiate judging competitions that grade eggs and poultry carcasses and evaluate live birds.
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