Rachel Strode Hamilton served the American Meat Science Association as Program Director of Intercollegiate Meats Judging from July 2000 until her untimely death. Rachel earned a B.S. degree in animal sciences from the University of Illinois in May 1998. While an undergraduate, she was a member of the 1997 Meats Judging Team and the 1998 Meat Animal Evaluation Team. She completed a Masters degree in meat science from the U of I in May 2000, married Dan Hamilton in June, and immediately went to work for AMSA.

The Rachel Hamilton Memorial “Spirit” award was established to honor a member of each team selected by their peers whose winning approach exemplifies Rachel’s love of meats judging and makes them the teammate we all want to have. Rachel was extremely proud of her meats judging experience. She always strove to do her best, and her infectious attitude and dedication brought out the best in her teammates. Rachel was a very energetic, enthusiastic young woman with an infectious smile. Rachel, the eternal optimist, was a very compassionate, outgoing, kind individual who looked for the good in others. Her attitude, her ability to laugh, her work ethic, her loyalty, and her love of family and God are attributes she possessed and lived and left for us to emulate. Knowing Rachel made each of us a better person.

2006 A-Division Spirit Award

The 2006 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the A-Division were announced at the Cargill Meat Solutions High Plains Contest on October 29th. Those students receiving this award included: Jeff Streitmatter (Illinois Central College), Brad Tilman (Allen County Community College), Kyle Larrison (Clarendon College), Chance Caldwell (Eastern Oklahoma State College), Kurtis Campbell (Fort Scott Community College), Paden Daniels (Garden City Community College), and Mandy J. Brantley (Western Texas College). Barton County Community College will select a recipient in the Spring.

2006 Senior Division Spirit Award

The 2006 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the Senior Division were announced at the International Contest, held on November 12, 2006. Those students that were selected by their peers to receive this award include: Cody Bundick (Angelo State University), Tess Douglass (Colorado State University), Rachel Smith (University of Illinois), Jana Matthiesen (Iowa State University), Tina Krafft (Kansas State University), Phillip Boydston (University of Missouri), Mallory Becker (University of Nebraska), Jenna Schmidt (North Dakota State University), Sara Wells (The Ohio State University), Daniel Settlemire (Oklahoma State University), Mellissa Smith (South Dakota State University), Joey Muras (Texas A&M University), Travis Chapin (Texas Tech University), and Kaylee Reed (University of Wyoming).

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