The Kansas State University Meat Animal Evaluation Team won national champion honors in the 2016 Meat Animal Evaluation Contest in Lincoln, Nebraska. The team was recognized April 15 in Lincoln, Nebraska, following the three-day competition.

Eight of K-State’s 17 team members placed in the top 10 overall. Collectively, the team brought home K-State’s first national title in the contest’s 53-year history. The team is coached by assistant professor, Travis O'Quinn, and instructor Chris Mullinix, and assisted by graduate student Austin Langemeier, all in K-State’s Department of Animal Sciences and Industry.

“We’re proud of our students,” said Ken Odde, professor and head of the department. “K-State has a strong tradition of judging team success and it’s exciting to have the accolades continue with the 2016 national champion meat animal evaluation title.”

The event, previously known as the AKSARBEN contest, now rotates between host institutions across the country. The competition includes live market animal carcass predictions and pricing, breeding animal evaluation and meats judging competition and truly serves as a capstone judging experience for students with its incorporation of so many industry applicable concepts.

K-State was the championship team in the five categories: Market Animal Division; Meats Division; Breeding Division; Beef Division and Sheep Division, and was reserve champion team in the Swine Division.

Members of the championship team (in alphabetical order by last name) and their hometowns are:

Tanner Aherin, Phillipsburg, Kan.

Ted Creech, Lloydminster, Alberta

Michael Cropp, Damascus, Md.

Austin Deppe,  Maquoketa, Iowa

Blake Foraker, Burton, Kan.

Zach Godde, Galesburg, Mich.

Grace Hammer, Wallace, Kan.

Rob Johnson, Niantic, Ill.

Riley Lafrentz, Bienfait, Saskatchewan

Joseph Limbach, Eugene, Mo.

Cody Knight, Shawnee, Kan.

Lauren Prill, Wichita, Kan.

Allison Schulz, Iron Ridge, Wis.

Barrett Simon, Leon, Kan.

Payton Stoppel, Russell, Kan.

Joelle Sylvester, Wamego, Kan.

Samantha Trehal, Kiowa, Colo.


K-State team members, their hometowns and individual honors at the competition included:

Barrett Simon, Leon, Kan. – High Individual Overall, 1st Market Animal, 1st Breeding, 6th Meats, 1st Beef, 1st Sheep

Blake Foraker, Burton, Kan. – 2nd Overall, 2nd Market Animal, 1st Meats, 4th Beef, 3rd Swine, 2nd Sheep

Rob Johnson, Niantic, Ill. – 4th Overall, 7th Breeding, 2nd Meats, 2nd Beef, 5th Swine, 6th Sheep

Joseph Limbach, Eugene, Mo. – 5th Overall, 8th Market Animal, 3rd Breeding, 7th Beef, 3rd Sheep

Lauren Prill, Wichita, Kan. – 6th Overall, 6th Breeding, 4th Meats, 8th Beef, 8th Sheep

Riley Lafrentz, Bienfait, Saskatchewan – 8th Overall, 7th Market Animal, 5th Beef

Allison Schulz, Iron Ridge, Wis. – 9th Overall, 4th Sheep

Tanner Aherin, Phillipsburg, Kan. – 10th Overall

Austin Deppe, Maquoketa, Iowa – 3rd Market Animal

Joelle Sylvester, Wamego, Kan. – 5th Market Animal

Samantha Trehal, Kiowa, Colo. – 9th Breeding

Grace Hammer, Wallace, Kan. – 10th Swine

The Kansas State University Animal Sciences and Industry department prepares students for careers in the animal and food industries. The curriculum includes the study of nutrition, reproduction, genetics, behavior, meat science, food science with production, management, and agribusiness skills. For more about the department visit the Animal Sciences and Industry website.