Microkhan by Brendan I. Koerner

The Lakers of Poultry Judging

August 17th, 2009 · 1 Comment

PoultryJudgingWe’re in the midst of working on a Wired piece about agricultural science, so you can expect Microkhan to dish up a plethora of farm-related factoids in the coming weeks. We’ll start today by highlighting a world us big city types know embarrassingly little about: the collegiate poultry judging circuit.

Our journey began as we scanned this paper from the University of Nebraska’s poultry management program. That spurred us to comb through recent news items on ThePoultrySite.com, where we learned of a fantastic honor recently bestowed upon a dedicated Texan:

The American Poultry Historical Society has honored Dr W.F. Krueger, professor emeritus at Texas A&M University, with the Poultry Pioneer and Legend Award.

The award honours individuals who have made significant lifetime contributions to the poultry industry.

Prior to his retirement, Dr Krueger served on the faculty in the department of poultry science, which is part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. He retired in 2006 after 53 years of service.

In addition to his work with genetics and poultry management systems, Dr Krueger coached the Texas A&M Poultry Judging team, which won multiple national championships.

Even in Krueger’s absence, it seems, the Aggie squad continues to roll. The picture above is of the school’s 2008 team, which snagged top honors at last year’s championships.

Unlike livestock contests involving milk-and-meat-yielding mammals, poultry tournaments focus on egg production and quality rather than an individual animal’s physical splendor. We can chuckle if we’d like, but don’t forget—the reason eggs have become our nation’s cheapest protein source is in part due to the competitive spirit of the men and women who take part in such “games.”

Check out the rules for the forthcoming 2009 championships here. We reckon that the Aggies must be the favorites, though we’d be curious to know the Vegas odds.


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  • The King’s Gambit

    […] the possible exception of Texas A&M’s poultry judging squad, no college team is as dominant right now as University of Maryland-Baltimore County’s chess […]