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June 2006

Release Date: June 30, 2006

Ag Team Bowls Over Quiz Competitors

Angelo State University’s Agriculture Quiz Bowl Team turned a rare small-school appearance into a well-done national championship June 19 at the Reciprocal Meats Conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The three-person team, consisting of Heather Rogers of Grapevine, Matthew Menchaca of Helotes and Darci Owens of Big Lake, bested 14 other teams from land-grant institutions at the international event. Animal science professor Mandy Carr, a Sudan native, coached the team.

The team won the event by answering questions covering all aspects of meat production, including food safety, meat quality and grading, inspection, muscle physiology, animal anatomy, food product development, and current events in the food industry. The queries were a mix of the theoretical and practical.

ASU’s appearance at the conference was the first for the school. Preparation for the competition began in the spring semester, with the students gathering information, studying and practicing.

Carr prepared team members by pointing them toward the areas they needed to study, then quizzing them as a team in practice sessions. The practice helped prepare the students for the fast-paced competition, which consisted of two-team, head-to-head rounds in which the first team to buzz in first got to answer the question.

“It’s a race,” Carr said. “They had to be well-prepared and quick to respond.”

At the contest, the team won all their June 18 match-ups to move into the final against Colorado State on June 19. ASU’s win was the first time in the five-year history of the event that either Texas A&M or Texas Tech did not win.

The win also was a milestone for ASU, which opened a $1.6 million meat processing facility in 2004. A meat market opened at the facility in November.

“It’s really important, because there are undergraduate and graduate students there, and they see us as a strong program,” Carr said. “It was good for our students to realize the education they’re getting is as good or better than that offered at those other schools. We’re competing with large, land-grant institutions with a lot of money and facilities, and we’re just getting started.”

In addition to the Quiz Bowl win, Rogers was one of five students nationally to win the Outstanding Undergraduate Achievement Award. The award recognizes students involved in meat science who have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement and extracurricular involvement such as meat judging, research and internships, and involvement in other university and professional organizations.

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