AFS students bring home four national AMSA scholastic awards
By: Norman Martin
Four standout students from Texas Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences have been selected to receive the American Meat Science Association's 2020 Undergraduate Scholastic Achievement Awards. Sponsored by ADM, the award promotes meat science by recognizing outstanding undergraduate students with potential for a career in meats.
Among those honored are Megan Eckhardt of New Braunfels, Texas; Conner McKinzie of Stephenville, Texas; Chandler Sarchet of Shallowater, Texas; and Colton Smith of Kingfisher, Oklahoma. The students, some who recently graduated, will receive their honors in early August during the virtual 66th International Congress of Meat Science and Technology and the AMSA 73rd Reciprocal Meat Conference awards presentation.
Eckhardt, who received her bachelor's degree in animal science with an emphasis in meat science business from Texas Tech in May, was heavily involved in Tech's meat science program, competing as a member of the 2018 Reserve National Champion Meat Judging Team and the 2019 National Champion Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team. She also coached the 2020 Zamorano Meat Judging Team. She is currently enrolled in Angelo State University's master's program in animal and meat science. Eckhardt is also coaching the 2021 ASU Meat Judging Team.
McKinzie, a senior animal science major with a concentration in meat science at Tech, was a member of the 2019 National Champion Meat Judging Team and the 2019 National Champion Quiz Bowl Team. He is currently a member of the Livestock Judging Team and the Meat Animal Evaluation Team. After graduation from Tech next May, McKinzie will serve as an assistant coach to Tech's meat judging team, while working toward a master's degree in meat science.
Sarchet, who received his bachelor's degree in animal science in May, has long been involved in meat judging, both in high school and at Texas Tech. He coached the 2020 Zamorano University Meat Judging Team and the Texas Tech Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team. He recently joined the Department of Animal and Food Sciences' graduate program, working toward a master's degree.
Finally, Smith, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in food science from Tech in May, also participated in meat judging both in high school and at Tech. He was on the AMSA Quiz Bowl program. While at Tech, Smith served in the department's undergraduate research and meat lab programs. This fall he is expected to begin a master's degree program in meat science at Colorado State University.
In other AMSA action, Kelley Vierck, a doctoral student with Tech's Department of Animal and Food Sciences who graduated in May, will garner the AMSA's Student Teaching 'Cleaver' Award (Ph.D. category). Vierck joined the University of Arkansas' faculty in June as an assistant professor with a focus on meat science and muscle biology.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor's Note: A new online, video-orientated Red Raider Orientation is now available for our Fall 2020 incoming students. The microsite features a 'Meet the Deans' introduction, six CASNR department videos, three 'How To' videos, four 'Helpful Links' and a FAQ section.