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University of Wyoming attends ICMJ in New South Wales

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

The University of Wyoming (UW) Meat Judging Team attended Australia’s Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association (ICMJ) Wagga Conference in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, where they competed against eight Australian teams, according to UW Ag News.

Only one meat judging team from the U.S. is invited to attend the ICMJ, and the UW team last participated in 2010.

Meat judging requires students to compete in various divisions, including assessing the amount of marbling present or grading beef carcasses according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) standards, and those who best assess will place in the competition. 

The 2023 UW Meat Judging Team includes Rachel Broyles of Arlington; Sophia Fuhrmann of Hoaglund, Ind.; Madeline Holmes of Humboldt, Calif.; Joseph Kennah of Hulett; Ashlyn Manuel of Montrose, Colo.; Tessa Maurer of Arvada, Colo.; Kara Reynolds of Laramie; Haley Rutsch of Pinedale; Casey Spencer of Petaluma, Calif. and Kylie Strauch of Van Tassell.

The ICMJ experience

The ICMJ Conference allows students to participate in interactive workshops, listen to industry guest speakers and participate in a career expo.

In an Ag News article, written by Maya Kate Gilmore and dated Sept. 13, “The UW team also got the chance to speak to producers and other employers at the career expo. Every student was approached with at least one career option, and one student received three job offers. Another student is planning to go back to Australia after she graduates in May 2024 and work for an employer she spoke with there.”

“Any student that went into the career fair could have gotten a job, because the Australian meat industry knows where the talent is,” says UW Meat Judging Head Coach McKensie Phillips.

Becoming a member of the UW team

As a member of the UW Meat Judging Team, students learn about the principles of meat evaluation, combined with knowledge learned in the classroom and in the UW Meat Lab, which will prepare students to compete at various national meat judging contests successfully. 

Team members are required to enroll in the Introduction to Meat Judging course, and they are expected to practice regularly through the spring and fall semesters during their one year of eligibility. 

Participation on the UW Meat Judging Team is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity because of the meat industry knowledge gained and connections made with fellow team members and professionals in the industry. 

As part of the UW Meat Judging Team, each fall, the team flies to the East Coast to compete in the Eastern National Contest hosted by Cargill in Wyalusing, Penn. where team members have the opportunity to visit Niagra Falls and New York City after competing.

Meat judging is open to all students enrolled at UW with a competitive attitude and the willingness and desire to learn more about the meat industry. 

Students interested in joining the 2024 Meat Judging Team are encouraged to contact Phillips at or call 307-766-2334 for more information.

Melissa Anderson is the editor of the Wyoming Livestock Roundup. Send comments on this article to

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