Members of the community along with students and faculty of Fort Scott Community College attended a reception on campus Friday afternoon to recognize a meats judging team that recently won a national competition in Texas.
“We couldn’t be more proud of this team and the accomplishments they’ve had,” FSCC President Alysia Johnston said, saying she recognizes the hard work and commitment needed in meats judging contests. “That kind of dedication truly is unusual.”
The team, which includes students Adam Lattin, Katie Thoden, Chad McKibben, Peyton Barrett and coach Jenilee Martin, placed first at the High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on Oct. 30, in Friona, Texas. The team also brought home awards for accomplishments such as placing second in beef grading, second in lamb judging, first in pork judging, second in beef judging, first in total beef, first in total placings and second in the total questions division along with other individual awards.
“It was their time to complete the task at hand,” coach Martin said of their mindset going into the contest, after a season of contests that brought a level of disappointment when they finished in third, fourth and fifth positions at contests in Denver, Col., Fort Worth, Houston and Amarillo, Texas.
But despite struggling earlier in the season such as with the questions portion of the contests, Martin and the team continued to persevere, to the point of practicing every day. Team member Thoden said she even reached a point where she asked her team mates if they truly wanted to win a contest, since it felt like they did not.
“By golly, we did it,” Thoden said of their win as their hard work finally paid off.
Martin expressed gratitude to the students for the memories she has of participating in the season’s contests as well as thanked the faculty for working with the students while they spent time away from their classes.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” Martin said, saying she was especially proud that two of the students were named All-American winners, which takes into account at their success at the contests as well as in the classroom.