The West Virginia University Poultry Judging Team recently made school history by placing third overall in the 45th Annual National Collegiate Poultry Judging Contest in Springdale, Ark.

That is the highest the team has placed in the national competition since finishing fourth in 2005.

Chris Brooks, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Fort Ashby, W.Va.; Katy Gall, an agricultural and extension education major from Independence, W.Va.; Ashley Maragas, an animal and nutritional sciences major from Mogador, Ohio; and Bethany Sirk, an agribusiness management and rural development major from Moorefield, W.Va., made up this year’s team.

Funded by the U.S. Poultry & Egg Association, the contest gives students the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations governing the grading of eggs and poultry. The competition is divided into three categories: production judging, breed selection and market products judging.

In addition to the third-place overall finish, the team captured fourth place in both Breed Selection and Carcass Quality and Egg Production and Quality.

At the individual level, Brooks tallied the sixth highest overall score and finished third in Breed Selection and Carcass Quality. Sirk placed fourth in Egg Production and Quality.

The team is coached by Joe Moritz, associate professor of animal nutrition in the WVU Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design. He’s assisted by graduate students Kelley Lilly, a nutrition and food science major from Flat Top, W.Va., and Laurel Shires, an animal and food science major from Rupert, W.Va.

WVU competed against teams from Texas A&M University, the University of Arkansas, Penn State University, North Carolina State University, Louisiana State University, Mississippi State University, and University of Wisconsin – River Falls.



CONTACT: Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design

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