What is Meat Judging?
The Intercollegiate Meat Judging Program started in 1926 at the International Livestock Exposition in Chicago. The National Live Stock and Meat Board originally sponsored the program. Contests have been held each year, with the exception of the World War II years of 1942-1945. In 1996, sponsorship of the program passed to the American Meat Science Association.
Today, AMSA, on behalf of America's livestock and meat industry, sponsors six contest: National Western, Southwestern, Eastern National, Cargill High Plains, American Royal, and the International. In addition several regional contests are held under local sponsorship with assistance from AMSA.
Meat judging programs are currently the most effective tool for the recruitment and development of future meat science technologists in existence today. Meat judging is much more than just the determination of the quality and lean meat yield of a carcass or wholesale cut; the program serves as a training tool to develop young leaders in the meat and livestock industries. Judging is a competitive event for youth through collegiate age students and it has a deep-rooted history with the meat industry. Students equipped with a general knowledge in meat evaluation are able to be competitive in the judging arena, but more importantly will be the individuals that lead our industry into the future.