The Columbia County 4-H Meat Judging team brought home top ten placings in all four categories of the National Western 4-H Roundup Meat Judging Contest.

 Members of the team included Faith Baerwolf, Columbus, Hayden Taylor, Arlington, Justin Taylor, Arlington, Zachary Mickelson, DeForest and Samantha Rake, Lodi. The youth are members of the Arlington Prairie Producers 4-H Club except Baerwolf who is a member of the South Columbus Willing Workers 4-H Club. The team was coached by Todd Taylor of rural Arlington.

The Columbia County youth competed against more than 1200 attendees hailing from 35 states who participated in the National 4-H/FFA Roundup. The conference is held annually and coincides with the National Western Show in Denver, CO. This year’s centennial event ran January 8-12, 2020.

4-H and FFA members between the ages of 14 and 19 qualify for Roundup by winning their home state’s contest or being chosen to represent their state. The Columbia County 4-H Meat Judging team won the opportunity to represent Wisconsin after placing second in the state’s meat judging contest in the spring of 2019.

While at the contest, Columbia County’s team placed in the top ten teams in all four categories of meat judging. In the “Total Placings” division, the team placed third, just 6 points behind the first place team from Texas. In the “Total Reasons” category, Columbia County placed fifth, while the placed seventh in both the “Overall” and “Retail Cuts Identification” categories.

As individuals, Columbia County’s Justin Taylor earned top honors overall nationally in the meat judging “Total Placings” division and ninth place overall nationally in the “Total Reasons” category.

Joining Taylor with high honors was Samantha Rake who placed tenth overall nationally in the meat judging “Total Placings” category. According to Columbia County Extension officials, the entire Columbia County team has been exhibiting livestock for all of their 4-H careers and consider their performance on the national level as an accomplishment. 

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