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 University of Illinois 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.

2011 A-Division Spirit Award

The 2011 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the A-Division were announced at the Cargill Meat Solutions High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on October 30, 2011. Those students receiving this award included: Josh Allen  (Allen County Community College), John Baker  (Clarendon College), Greg Howard  (Coffeyville Community College), Bethany Ericson  (Fort Scott Community College), Jacob Fish  (Garden City Community College), Ross Wyatt  (Tarleton State University) and Cassie Cochran  (Western Texas College).

2010 Senior Division Spirit Award

The 2011 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the Senior Division were announced at the International Contest, held on November 13, 2011. Those students receiving this award included: Kara Andrews (Angelo State University), Megan Myers (Colorado State University), Kayla Wood (Fresno State University), Heidi Reynolds (Iowa State University), Aaron Tapian (Kansas State University), Christine Wanner (North Dakota State University), Ashley Hollis (Oklahoma State University), Colby Olson (South Dakota State University), Jake Reed (Texas A&M University), Cody Sultenfuss (Texas Tech University), James Maynard (The Ohio State University), Zach Cowart (University of Georgia), Amanda Kazmierczak (University of Illinois), Kelly Jahn (University of Missouri), Karen Buettner (University of Nebraska ), Christina Appel (University of Wyoming), and Kimberly Crist (West Texas A&M University).

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