2020 Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Award Recipients

Jul 22, 2020

The American Meat Science Association (AMSA) announces Megan Eckhardt, Becca Grimes, Katie Lybarger, Conner McKinzie, Chandler Sarchet, Colton Smith and Hannah Williams as the 2020 Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Award recipients. The Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Award promotes meat science by recognizing outstanding undergraduate students with potential for a career in meats. The candidates may or may not have committed himself/herself to a career in meats but have demonstrated an interest in meat science and the meat industry. The Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Award is sponsored by ADM. All students will be honored during the Virtual 66th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology and the AMSA 73rd Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC) awards presentation.

Megan Eckhardt

Megan Eckhardt is a Texas Tech University graduate with a B.S. in Animal Science, with an emphasis in Meat Science Business. Her involvement in agriculture started young on her family farm as well as her participation in 4-H and FFA events. It was this involvement that sparked her passion for animal and meat science. During her time at Texas Tech she remained heavily involved in the meat science program competing as a member of the 2018 Reserve National Champion Meat Judging Team and the 2019 National Champion Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team, in addition to coaching the 2020 Zamorano Meat Judging Team. She is excited to continue onto her master’s program in animal and meat science at Angelo State University in addition to coaching the 2021 ASU Meat Judging Team.

Becca Grimes

Becca Grimes is a West Texas A&M University graduate with a B.S. in Animal Science. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she competed on the Meats Judging Team and Quiz Bowl Team. She spent a summer as the Individual Animal Management and Performance Enhancement Product Protocols Intern with Feedlot Health Management Services in Okotoks, AB, Canada. During her internship, she was tasked with pulling data from database systems to create reports for clients in the area of carcass data and liver data. During her undergraduate degree, Grimes had the opportunity to be involved in a serial slaughter project for Merck Animal Health as well as work on many other research projects. Grimes recently began her master’s degree in Animal Science at West Texas A&M University with an emphasis in Meat Science. Ultimately, Grimes wants to obtain her Ph.D. to conduct research for the fed beef industry.

Katie Lybarger

Katie Lybarger is studying Animal Sciences and Industry with an Animal Products option at Kansas State University. Her interest in agriculture and food production was cultivated through experiences in FFA. At Kansas State she became involved in meat science and was a member of the 2019 Reserve National Champion Meat Judging team. She plans to pursue a master’s degree and a career in the meat industry upon graduation.


Conner McKinzie

Conner McKinzie is a senior animal science major with a concentration in meat science at Texas Tech University. His passion for agriculture stemmed from his early involvement in organizations such as 4H and FFA. While at Texas Tech he has become heavily involved in meat science and was a member of both the 2019 National Champion Meat Judging Team and the 2019 National Champion Quiz Bowl Team. McKinzie has enjoyed his experience in the meat science department at Texas Tech, as well as his participation in many student events led by AMSA. McKinzie is currently a member of the Livestock Judging Team and the Meat Animal Evaluation Team. Moving forward, Conner will serve as an assistant coach to the Meat Judging Teams at Texas Tech while he obtains his master’s degree in meat science.

Chandler Sarchet

Chandler Sarchet is a Texas Tech University graduate with a B.S in Animal Science. His experiences with meat judging in high school and college led to his interest in meat science. During his time at Texas Tech, Sarchet has coached the 2020 Zamorano University meat judging team and the TTU Meat Science Quizbowl Team. Sarchet has recently started graduate school, working on his M.S in Meat Science at Texas Tech.


Colton Smith

Colton Smith graduated from Texas Tech University with a B. S. in Food Science. Colton’s passion began during high school meat judging, and he pursued that at Texas Tech where he judged meats and participated in AMSA Quiz Bowl. Additionally, he participated in undergraduate research and meat lab activities. In the fall, he will be beginning a master’s program at Colorado State University in meat science.


Hannah Williams

Hannah Williams is a senior at Kansas State University studying Animal Science and Industry. She has discovered her passion for agriculture through involvement in 4-H, FFA, and the National Junior Hereford Association. Most recently, she was a member of the 2019 Kansas State Meat Judging team where she was awarded 2nd Team All-American, and also developed a love for meat science. Williams has gained meat science experience through undergraduate research projects at Kansas State and internships. Her first internship was with Corbion working in the meat research lab and gaining an understanding of the bio-ingredient sector of meat science. Additionally, this summer Williams has worked for Merck Animal Health as a cattle field sales intern. She hopes to continue her involvement in the meat and livestock industries through her career and extracurricular participation.

The 66th ICoMST and AMSA 73rd RMC will be held August 3-6, 2020 online in the virtual format. For more information please visit: www.icomst2020.com or contact Deidrea Mabry 1-800-517-AMSA ext. 12.

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