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The American Royal Awards Top Individuals in Judging Contests

by Animal Health2 | Feb 12, 2024
Kansas City, MO., January 12, 2023 - Students from across the nation contended for top honors in judging contests hosted by the American Royal Association this past fall. The competitions brought together over 550 high school and collegiate students from more than 25 states. Contestants are scored and ranked on their critical thinking skills, evaluations, and ability to defend their decision.

The Livestock Judging Contest, held in conjunction with the 124th American Royal Livestock Show, took place October 15-16 in Hale Arena. Qualifying teams and individuals from 21 states competed in the 4-H division. Taking home the top honors was Texas 4-H. Emma Zoeller, Texas, was the champion individual, besting 80 competitors. Of the 12 teams competing in the FFA division, Oklahoma FFA rose to the top, with Macy McEntire, Oklahoma, taking home the individual honors in a field of 48.

In the Junior College division, 28 colleges competed, with Blinn College taking home the top honors. Kinsey Gardner, Blinn College, was crowned the champion individual out of 124. One hundred individuals and 22 teams competed in the Intercollegiate division. Oklahoma State was crowned the champion team. The individual champion was Dillion Sheiss, Iowa State.

The Collegiate Meats Judging Contest, co-hosted with the American Meat Science Association, was held on October 15 in Omaha, Nebraska. Teams from 22 junior and senior colleges competed to take home the top honors. Clarendon College and West Texas A&M University were crowned division champions. Megan Iennaccaro, Kansas State, and Mackenzi Shattuck, Washington State, were named as high individuals in each division.

On October 17, the National 4-H Meats Judging Contest, co-hosted with the American Meat Science Association and Kansas State University, was held at the Kansas State University Meat Lab in Manhattan, Kansas. Seventeen teams competed. Kansas 4-H was named the champion team and Ava Harborth, Texas, took home individual honors.

The Collegiate Crops Contest concluded the year’s judging contests on November 13 and 14. Seven teams competed with 45 contestants and coaches present. As part of the event, contestants toured the National Grain Center, Bartlett Co., Bayer Crop Science and John Deere. The American Royal crowned Kansas State University as the champion team and Renae Sinclair, Kansas State, as the champion individual.

“These judging contestants gained life skills that will help to further their agriculture success down the road,” said Jackie McClaskey, American Royal President and CEO. “We are honored to host these prestigious contests and recognize the hard work and dedication these individuals and teams put into the judging contests this past year.”


About the American Royal Association
A Kansas City tradition since 1899, the American Royal is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to be the nation’s leader for food and agriculture education, events, and engagement. The American Royal provides opportunities for youth and adults from around the world to engage in high- quality events and experiences, including nationally competitive livestock shows, the world’s largest barbecue competition, regional and national equine shows, youth and professional rodeos, and elementary and secondary education outreach. Support from partners, members, and volunteers help the American Royal achieve its vision of a world where food and agriculture are celebrated, and all generations are committed to its future.

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