January 30, 2002 | By: Aimee D. Heald

Benjy Mikel, University of Kentucky Extension meat specialist, took a meat judging team of five 4-Hers, including two sets of twins, from Harrison County to represent the Commonwealth at the National Western Roundup in Denver, Colorado in January.

Mikel said the team of Shelley Wade, Shannon Wade, Mike Welch, Jon Welch and Michael Meyers turned a lot of heads at the competition, not only because of the twins, but also their critical thinking ability and they way they communicated their decisions to the contest officials.

“It was a treat to travel with two sets of twins that were difficult to distinguish between,” he said. “It is always a thrill to see our future leaders who are so well mannered and polite out on a trip.”

Highlights of the team’s placings were first in total reasons, second in total placing, first in pork judging, fifth in retail meat identification, seventh in beef judging, and an impressive third in the overall standings.

Mikel was impressed by his team and the way they represented Kentucky, however he believes the team members are the ones who gain the most from these types of competitions.

Meat Judging has the ability to teach critical thinking, decision making, and communication skills that are useful throughout a youth's lifetime,” he said. “Also, the meat identification and cookery section of the event are learned traits they can apply for a lifetime.”

Individual honors for team members at the contest were: Shelley Wade placed third in pork judging, eighth in total placing, ninth in retail meat ID and sixth overall; Shannon Wade placed fifth in pork judging, ninth in beef judging, first in reasons, second in overall judging and eighth overall; Michael Meyers placed sixth in pork judging, seventh in reasons, seventh in total judging and twenty-second overall; both Mike and Jon Welch lead the team in beef placing.


Benjy Mikel  859-257-7550