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Local 4-H team prepares for national contests

COLDWATER, MI -- Meat evaluation team members from the Branch Area Career Center (BACC) FFA chapter and Branch County 4-H are preparing to compete in their respective National Meat Evaluation Contests this fall. Isaac Tappenden, Carson Rose, Emily Rissman, and Shelby Souva, all of Bronson, Michigan successfully competed at the Michigan 4-H/FFA   Meat Judging Contest held at Michigan State University (MSU) on Tuesday, May 15. As a collaborative effort between the MSU Meat Lab, MSU Extension, Michigan 4-H and Michigan FFA, youth competed in the contest that included three beef classes, three pork classes, identification of 20 retail cuts, yield and quality grade of three beef carcasses, and answered a set of questions based on one of the placing classes.  Additionally, FFA members completed a multiple choice test.  Tappenden, Rose, Rissman and Souva competed in both contests.
 The FFA team from BACC placed 1st overall in the contest, earned a Gold award and the right to represent Michigan at the National FFA Meat Evaluation Contest to be held in Indianapolis, Indiana in October. Tappenden ranked first overall in the contest, receiving a perfect score in pork carcass, and contest high points in yield grade and meat identification.  Rose ranked 7th overall in the contest, while both Rissman and Souva had perfect scores in pork retail cuts.  Souva was also high point contestant in quality grading. 
In the 4-H contest the Branch County team placed 1st overall with Tappenden 1st individual, Rose 3rd, Rissman 4th, and Souva 6th.  They will represent Michigan at the National 4-H Meat Evaluation & Identification Contest to be held on October 16th as part of the American Royal Livestock Show.  The contest will be hosted by Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas. 
 Coaching the team was Melissa Souva of Bronson and Sally Stuby of Centreville.