The Llano FFA Meats Team recently competed at the National FFA Contest in Indianapolis, Indiana, bringing home the title of National Champion Team. The event was held in conjunction with the 85th National FFA Convention & Expo. The contest was held at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana in Champaign, Illinois with 41 teams from across the nation competing. Team members include Shelby Martin, Cole Perkins, James Smarr, and Eli Tiffin. Individually, Shelby was 2nd high individual, Eli was 5th high individual, and Cole was 6th high individual. All team members and the team were recognized as gold emblem honorees. The team was coached by Joe Dan Tarter.
The top ten individuals and the winning team members received cash awards to recognize their success in the event. The cash awards and the event are sponsored by Cargill Meat Solutions, Hormel Foods Corporation, Kraft Foods-Oscar Mayer, and Tyson Foods, Inc. as a special project of the National FFA Foundation.
The National FFA Meats Technology and Evaluation CDE is a competitive event that tests students’ skills and competencies in evaluating and identifying meat carcasses and products. Event components include a general knowledge exam, beef carcass evaluation, identification of retail cuts of beef, lamb, and pork, quality and yield grading of beef carcasses, a team meat merchandising event, and solving of a meat formulation problem. The team competed at contests in the spring in preparation for the Area and State contests, which were held in April and May. The team won the state contest, earning them the privilege to represent Texas at the National FFA Convention & Expo.