Texas 4-H Meat Judging Rules & Guidelines

2016 Texas State 4-H Meat Identification and Judging Contest

The information included in this document has been in part adopted from the National 4-H Meat Judging Contest rules and regulations as put forth by the American Meat Science Association.

Eligibility

  1. This contest is open to a team of four 4-H members to be selected and/or certified by the state and district 4-H
 leaders/specialists. The three high scoring members of a team shall constitute the official team for each division and for the total contest. The fourth ranking member in each division and total contest shall automatically become the alternate in that division or total contest. All four members of each team are eligible for individual awards.
  2. The Senior, Intermediate, and Junior contestant designation will be established by the State and District 4-H Leaders/Specialists.
  3. All the members, including alternates, shall meet the eligibility requirements found in the Policies and Guidelines for National 4-H Competitive Events approved by ECOP and all State of Texas 4-H eligibility requirements.

Specifically, contestants:

  • Must be 14-18 years old as of January 1 in the year they compete; Must be a 4-H member during the year they compete; Must not have participated in official post secondary (university, college, junior college or technical school) competitive events of a similar nature in the same subject matter area, nor be a member of a post secondary team undergoing training in preparation for such an event.
  1. In addition to the Policies and Guidelines for National 4-H Competitive Events, contestant must be selected in the
 12-month period prior to the contest date.

Selection of Facilities, Products and Judges

  1. The selection of facilities and product for the contest will be made by the Contest Superintendent (Dan Hale, Extension Meat Specialist) or his designate.
  2. The contest site will be “Off Limits” to all coaches, contestants and associated persons one week prior to the contest.

General Conduct of Contest

  1. Contestants will move from exhibit to exhibit during the contest in four or more separate groups.
  2. No two members of the same team will be in the same group.
  3. Where possible, a group leader will be provided for each group of contestants whose duty shall be to enforce the rules of the contest and to keep the exhibits of the class on which his group is working in an orderly arrangement.
  4. Contestants will have 10 minutes to evaluate each class and identify each set of ten retail cuts. For each carcass and wholesale cut class, the contestant will have a two minute stand-back time period at the beginning of the class and then a one minute stand-back time period at the end of each class. A one-minute warning will be given towards the end of class time period.
  5. After all the classes have been evaluated each contestant will be given five minutes to review their scorecard to ensure that it has been filled out correctly. After this five-minute period scorecards will be picked up. Contestants should fill out their scorecards as they evaluate each class and as they are identifying each retail cut. There is not enough time to completely fill out their card during this five-minute review.
  6. Contestant will not be permitted to:
    1. Handle or touch cuts or lean cut surfaces under any condition;
    2. Use any mechanical aid, such as a measuring device, light, etc.;
    3. Talk to fellow contestants at any time during the contest;
    4. Monopolize any one exhibit for any unreasonable length of time;
    5. Separate themselves from the class on which their group is working;
    6. In any way willfully obstruct the work of any other contestant.
  7. Team members and coaches will be given the official placings and reasons by the Judges after the contest is completed.

 Scantron Card

  1. Contestants will be provided a scantron in their packet, which must be used for the contest. The class and retail identification scores will be based off of the bubbled-in portions on the scantron. If the bubbles are blank the contestant will receive a zero for that item regardless if the answer is written on the card. If two items are bubbled in for the same class or retail cut code, then the contestant will receive a zero for that item.

Selection of Classes

The Judging Committee will give special consideration to the following items:

  1. General – Judging Classes
  2. All exhibits in the judging classes are to be selected from the top four grades;
  3. The officials shall be the final authority in how the cuts are trimmed. The contestants will not be expected to make allowances for faulty workmanship or differences in trim;
  4. An effort will be made to select classes that will hold their characteristics for the duration of the contest;
  5. All exhibits within one class will be of about the same weight, so that the size of the exhibit is not a major factor in determining the placing. The cContestant should assume that all carcasses and cuts are of the same weight.
  6. A special effort will be made to avoid unusual conditions in the contest area which would tend to change the appearance of the exhibits during the contest;
  7. A check will be made to see that all hanging exhibits in one class are on about the same length hooks and at a height for best observation;
  8. A check will be made to see that marks of identification, such as plant or official federal grades, tags, or other common marks of identification are removed from every exhibit prior to the start of the contest.

(Exceptions to the above—or other unusual cooler area or exhibit conditions—will be carefully explained to coaches and contestants prior to commencement of the contest.)

Retail Identification

The retail cuts to be used for the identification portion of the contest will be selected from the latest approved national 4-H Meat Identification Cut Master List (Retail Cut Identification Codes *Updated January 2015) available from the American Meat Science Association (www.meatjudging.org). Steaks or chops will not exceed 1-1/4 inches thick. Roasts will be 1-1/2 inches thick or more. Efforts will be made to avoid borderline calls. Cuts may or may not be packaged and packaging materials are at the discretion of the contest officials. Contestants may not touch retail cuts at any time. Retail cuts and names shall be among those found in the Uniform Retail Meat Identity Standards approved list, and the Guide to Identifying Meat Cuts. The following web address is the official Texas A&M University site for Retail ID pictures http://aggiemeat.tamu.edu/meat-identification-pictures/4-h-senior-division-and-ffa-meat-cde/

Retail Cut Class List

Beef retail cut placing/reason classes shall be selected from among the following:

  • Beef Chuck, Arm Roast
  • Beef Rib, Rib Steak, Lip-on
  • Beef Rib, Ribeye Steak
  • Beef Loin, T-Bone/Porterhouse Steak
  • Beef Loin, Top Loin Steak, Boneless
  • Beef Loin, Top Loin Steak, Bone-in
  • Beef Loin, Top Sirloin Steak, Boneless
  • Beef Round, Round Steak (Bone-In or Boneless)

Pork retail cut placing/reason classes shall be selected from among the following:

  • Pork Shoulder, Blade Boston Roast
  • Pork Shoulder, Blade Steak
  • Pork Loin, Blade Chop
  • Pork Loin, Blade Roast
  • Pork Loin, Rib Chop
  • Pork Loin, Loin Chop
  • Pork Ham, Fresh Center Slice, Smoked Center Slice

Lamb retail cut placing/reason classes shall be selected from among the following:

  • Lamb Rack, Rib Chop, Double Rib Chop, rib roast
  • Lamb Shoulder, Blade chop, Arm Chop
  • Lamb Loin, Loin Chop, Double Loin Chop, Loin Roast

Lamb Leg, Leg Slice

  1. Wholesale/Primal-Subprimal Judging Class list.

Different numbered options are listed because of regional or market availability preferences. 
* Denotes the preferred choices, if available.

  • Beef Ribs (103/107*/109/112A)
  • Beef Rounds (158*/160)
  • Beef Loin (172)
  • Beef Short Loins, Short-Cut (174*)
  • Beef Strip Loins, Bnls (180)
  • Pork Fresh Hams (401*/401A)
  • Pork Shoulder Boston Butts, Bone-In (406)
  • Pork Loins (410/411/412*/413 or a derivation of one of these)
  1. SENIOR – Classes and scoring for a Standard Contest for Senior Contestants                                                                    Possible Score

Judging Classes

Retail—2 Classes
Selected from list in Part C, one beef, one pork, or one lamb                                                                                                       100

Carcass and/or Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal Cut Classes                                                                                                                                         200

Beef—2 Classes
Carcasses and/or Cuts Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal and Pork—2 Classes
Carcasses and/or Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal Cuts is preferred; however this may need to be altered based on the availability of product at the host institution. Having up to two classes in the same category is allowed if necessary because of product availability issues. Additionally, based on product availability, a third retail, beef, and/or pork class may be used.

Reasons Oral reasons will be given on three of the above classes at 50 points each                                                                                              150

Total Judging Score Possible                                                                                                                                                                                             450

 

Retail Identification

Identify 30 retail Cuts—Beef, Pork, and Lamb Fresh, Processed or Variety (A) Name of Species at 2 points each                                              60

(B) Name of Primal Cut at 3 points each                                                                                                                                                                            90

(C) Name of Retail Cut at 4 points each                                                                                                                                                                            120

(D) Recommended Cookery Method at 1 point each                                                                                                                                                        30

Total Identification Score Possible                                                                                                                                                                                   300

TOTAL CONTEST SCORE POSSIBLE                                                                                                                                                             750

  1. INTERMEDIATE – Classes and scoring for a Standard Contest for Intermediate Contestants

Possible Score

Judging Classes

Retail—2 Classes
Selected from list in Part C, one beef, one pork, or one lamb                                                                                                       100

Carcass and/or Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal Cut Classes                                                                                                                                         200

Beef—2 Classes
Carcasses and/or Cuts Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal and Pork—2 Classes
Carcasses and/or Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal Cuts is preferred; however this may need to be altered based on the availability of product at the host institution. Having up to two classes in the same category is allowed if necessary because of product availability issues. Additionally, based on product availability, a third retail, beef, and/or pork class may be used.

 

Questions will be answered on two of the above classes. These questions will be answered at a designated time during the contest. Both sets of questions will be answered at the same time without notes (at 50 points each)                                                                                        100

Total Judging Score Possible                                                                                                                                                                                             400

Retail Identification – There is an abbreviated list of retail cuts that Intermediate contestant will need to learn. They will do 30 cuts and answer all four categories for each cut (Species, Primal Cut, Retail Cut and Cookery). This is a major change over previous years.

Identify 30 retail Cuts—Beef, Pork, and Lamb Fresh, Processed or Variety

(A) Name of Species at 2 points each                                                                                                                                                                                  60 (B) Name of Primal Cut at 3 points each                                                                                                                                                                           90 (C) Name of Retail Cut at 4 points each                                                                                                                                                                           120 (D) Recommended Cookery Method at 1 point each                                                                                                                                                       30


Total Identification Score Possible                                                                                                                                                                                  300

TOTAL CONTEST SCORE POSSIBLE                                                                                                                                                            700

JUNIOR – Classes and scoring for a Standard Contest for Junior Contestants. Juniors will only judge classes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Possible Score

Judging Classes

Retail—2 Classes
Selected from list in Part C, one beef, one pork, or one lamb                                                                                                       100

Four Carcass and/or Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal Cut Classes                                                                                                                               200

Beef—2 Classes
Carcasses and/or Cuts Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal and Pork—2 Classes
Carcasses and/or Wholesale/Primal/Subprimal Cuts is preferred; however this may need to be altered based on the availability of product at the host institution. Having up to two classes in the same category is allowed if necessary because of product availability issues. Additionally, based on product availability, a third retail, beef, and/or pork class may be used.

Total Judging Score Possible                                                                                                                                                                                             300

TOTAL CONTEST SCORE POSSIBLE                                                                                                                                                            300

 

Oral Reasons/ Written Questions

  1. There will be three reasons classes selected from beef, pork and retail classes. Each contestant will give three sets of oral reasons. The reasons classes will be chosen by the Officials and announced to the contestants at when they begin a reason/question class. The contestant may not use notes while giving reasons or answering questions, but will be provided note cards during the contest to be used for review and preparation for the oral reasons.
  2. Reasons should be given to the Officials, in the order of the contestant’s placing. Major comparisons, criticisms and grants should be used, where appropriate.
  3. For questions contestants will be given 10 minutes to review their notes on both question classes. Following the review period contestants will put their notes away and then be given written questions. Participants will be given 10 minutes to answer the 5 questions per class for both classes.

Contest Time and Materials

  1. Ten minutes will be allowed in the cooler per placing each judging class and taking notes for reasons.
  2. Contestants will stand back two minutes for reviewing judging class. Seven minutes will be allowed for close inspection of each class and one minute will be allowed for stand back and filling out placing cards.
  3. Three 10-minute periods will be allowed for identifying the 30 retail cuts, with no stand back.
  4. The Officials will decide all official placings and cuts for the contest.
  5. Immediately preceding the start of oral reasons, there will be a warm-up period of at least 15 minutes for contestants to study notes for their oral reasons.
  6. Oral reasons may not exceed two minutes for any one class.
  7. All forms, placing cards, note cards for reasons, etc. shall be provided by the contest administration.
  8. Clipboards, pens, pencils, clean frocks, cooler coats and hard hats shall be provided by the contestant.
  9. Cards with bubbles on the scantron not marked will be scored as a zero. Any written information in the blanks on the scantron will be disregarded.

Awards

  1. Suitable trophies or awards will be given the high individuals and teams in appropriate contest divisions and in total contest.
  2. All individuals participating, including alternates shall be eligible for individual awards.
  3. Ties in judging categories shall be broken by reasons and/or total contest scores. Total contest scores shall break ties in identification.

 Study Material

  1. Retail cuts and names shall be among those found in the Uniform Meat Identity Standards (1996 Edition).
  2. The “Meat Evaluation Handbook” (2001 Edition) will be used by the Judges as a guide in selecting and placing the various classes.
  3. Study materials are available from several sources.

Here are some sites to review for study materials

4Hmeat.org – Texas State 4-H Meat Judging Site

aggiemeat.tamu.edu/judging/meatjudging.html – Texas A&M University Meat Science Section Meat Judging Site

www.meatjudging.org – American Meat Science Association

  1. Questions relating to the contest should be directed to: Dan Hale Extension Meat Specialist, Texas AgriLife Extension Service, dhale@tamu.edu, 979-845-2053,

 

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