Cal Poly Meats Team Brings Home Championship

By: Veronica Staggs, 4th-year animal science major with a minor in dairy science

The Cal Poly Meats Team is excited to bring home the California Association of Meat Processors Norm Eggen Championship Cup. We traveled to UC Davis to compete in the California Association of Meat Processors Annual Meeting and Cured Meats Competition. Winning this award allowed Cal Poly to break UC Davis’ five-year winning streak of this cup.

The event took place on the weekend of February 23-25, 2018. Cal Poly competed in the collegiate class of 25 entries against UC Davis, Chico State, and Fresno State Universities. In the past, the collegiate class featured a variety of sausage products, but this year the class showcased flavor coated bacons. Our team was coached by Cal Poly’s Meat Processing Center Manager Jim Douglass, and was made up of eight students; Connor Smith, Lane Koontz, Kira Olson, Catie Field, Toni DeMatteo, Beaujena DeSilva, Morgan Metheny, and myself.

Meat championship
Cal Poly Meats Team at the competition held at UC Davis.

In addition to winning the Championship Cup, I am honored to have earned the Grand Champion Award for my Maple Bourbon Pecan Bacon. I could not have asked for a better team to enter the contest with; every member worked hard to create their own original product. In addition, Jim has dedicated himself to this program since he joined Cal Poly in 2015, and his efforts have paid off. This is my last year at the Meat Processing Center, and I am proud to represent our school amongst the state’s top processors before graduation.

To add to our excitement, the Championship Cup is named after Norm Eggen, a Cal Poly Meats lecturer in the 1970’s and 80’s, who exemplified passion and leadership that inspired many students to be leaders in the meat industry. We are beyond honored to bring the cup back to Eggen’s alma mater.

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