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UW Meat Judging Team Notches First-ever Consecutive Wins

April 2, 2014 — The University of Wyoming’s meat judging team finished the spring season in March following two consecutive contest wins and a number of individual honors.

This was the first time UW won the Iowa State or Houston Livestock Show contests and the first time a team from UW has won two contests in a single year.

Fresh from its first-place win at the Iowa State Meat Evaluation Contest in February, the eight-member team competed in its final spring season contest at the recent Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. UW earned first-place among 16 teams for its second consecutive win.

Team members are Scott Anderson, McKinnon; Mackenzie Fuller, Wright; John Lacey, Highlands Ranch, Colo.; Brandt Mortensen, Sanford, Colo.; Cassidy Smith, Carpenter; Danielle Stravino, Northridge, Calif.; Jennifer Sauers, Big Springs, Neb.; and Laura Strohecker, Casper.

Mortensen earned high individual honors while capturing first place in overall beef. Smith was the high individual in placings, and Strohecker earned first in beef judging; together they led the team to top honors in both divisions.

“It’s a real privilege to see a group of students with no prior judging experience dedicate themselves so fervently,” says coach Zeb Gray. “The University of Wyoming should be very proud of these students’ commitment and excellent representation on a national stage.”

The season began in January at the National Western Stock Show in Denver. The team finished fifth among 12 teams while tying for first in beef judging.

Mortensen led the team, finishing fourth overall and earning top honors in the specifications division. Strohecker broke the UW pork judging record, earning the division first place and capturing 10th place in individual honors. Anderson garnered seventh place in the alternate’s division.

The team competed twice in February: at the Fort Worth Stock Show at the Southwestern Contest and then in the Iowa State Meat Evaluation Contest in Ames.

UW earned fourth place among 11 teams at Fort Worth while finishing third in the beef grading, specifications and pork judging divisions.

Mortensen led the team, posting a score that was the fourth highest in UW history and earning third-place honors. Strohecker finished as the specifications division high individual and captured the fourth-highest individual honors. Stravino took fifth in the alternate’s division.

The team took first overall in Iowa and placed first in the reasons, specifications and summer sausage divisions. Anderson led the team, earning first in specifications en route to a second-place overall finish. Teammates Lacey, Strohecker and Mortensen followed closely with third-, fourth- and sixth-place overall finishes. Strohecker was the top individual in the reasons divisions.

For more information, email Gray at

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