CAL POLY STRIKES AGAIN
This February, Cal Poly Meats hosted the prestigious Cured and Processed Meats Championships for the members of the California Association of Meat Processors (CAMP) at our J & G Family Meat Processing Facility.
The annual competition is open to all California processors and universities who are members of CAMP. Processors and students alike enter an array of products such as ham, bacon, jerky, snack sticks and various sausages to see where their products stack up against others across the state.
The largest in recent history, this year's competition was extremely competitive with more than 270 entries competing across 18 classes. Cal Poly Meats entered five customer favorites to compete against fellow processors.
In addition, seven Cal Poly students entered their products into the Collegiate Class featuring Smoked Sausage. Our team, made up of Colton Naylor (Smoked Honey Chipotle Sausage), Nick Eiguren (Smoked Basque Chorizo), Nomar Isais-Barajas (Smoked Hot Italian), Shelby Watts (Smoked Creole Sausage), Grace Van Splinter (Smoked Andouille), Tommy Vazquez (Kielbasa) and Christian Gomez (Smoked Spicy Swiss), competed against students from UC Davis, Fresno State and Chico State. The Collegiate Class was the largest in the competition with a total of 33 product entries.
Colton Naylor walked away with Grand Champion in the Collegiate Class with his Smoked Honey Chipotle Sausage. As for the fan favorites, Cal Poly won two Reserve Grand Champion Awards for our Chorizo Bacon (Coated Bacon Class) and Chicken Curry Sausage (Fresh Poultry Sausage Class). Lastly, our Linguica was named Champion across all others in the state in this year's Feature Class: Linguica.
The Cal Poly Meats Team
From Left to Right: (back) Colton Naylor, Tommy Vazquez, Grace Van Splinter, Christian Gomez, Shelby Watts, Jim Douglass
(front) Nick Eiguren, Morgan Metheny, Nomar Isais-Barajas, Sue Douglass
Four of our students, Nick Eiguren, Colton Naylor, Courtney Creighton and Grace Van Splinter, were selected to attend the Beyond Fresh Meats Sausage Short Course hosted by Tyson this February in Chicago, Illinois. Over the course of the weekend, the Tyson Prepared Meat's team led workshops from hot dog and salami production to breakfast and smoked sausages. Not only did students learn how to process product, the course also covered procurement, formulation and marketing.
Cal Poly wins in Colorado
'Santa Maria Style'
Six Cal Poly students competed this past week in Fort Collins, Colorado at the American Meat Science Association’s Reciprocal Meat Conference. The teams consisted of three animal science, one agricultural systems management and two agricultural science students: Sarah Dreyer, Connor Smith, Kira Olson, Courtney Creighton, Shelby Watts and Christian Gomez, respectively. This year was the first time in many years that Cal Poly has competed and was coached by Morgan Metheny. One team, including Sarah, Connor, Kira and Christian, competed in the Taste of RMC Competition against three other agricultural universities including Fresno State, Iowa State and Texas Tech University. During the Taste of RMC University Competition, the students were to create and present their sausage-centric, on-the-go snack, including a food safety HACCP plan and marketing plan for their product. The team’s product for this year’s competition featured Cal Poly Meats’ Beef Snack Sticks and the Cal Poly Creamery’s Gouda. The Cal Poly team won second place in the competition with Iowa State placing first. In addition, all Cal Poly students competed amongst a total of 110 students in the Iron Chef Product Development Competition. All students were split into ten teams and challenged to develop two separate chicken dishes based on assigned spice combinations at the JBS Headquarters' Pilot Plant. Sarah Dreyer’s team earned second place with their Gochujang Meatballs and Harissa Wings. Whereas Shelby Watts’ team brought home the People’s Choice Award with their Five Spice Corn Dogs and Black Cherry Adobo Wings. Our second team in attendance, including Sarah, Kira, Courtney, and Shelby, competed in the Quiz Bowl Competition where the students answered questions about meat industry trends, history, production and muscle biology. These experiences have truly embodied the learn by doing education that all students receive from Cal Poly, testing their knowledge and practical experience.