Jonathan Anderson, St. Paul, NE, had never judged livestock before.

Yet, he ended up as the top junior division contender in the livestock breeding division of the University of Nebraska's Meat Animal Evaluation Contest.

Anderson said the contest was educational and fun, and something to incorporate into his animal science major.

MAEC gives students an opportunity to compete with their peers to evaluate market and breeding cattle, hogs and sheep, said Keith Gilster, NU livestock evaluation specialist and MAEC judge. Students judge animals in various scenarios visually and with data, which better prepares them for the industry. NU contests, such as MAEC, date to 1916.

This year, there were 108 students in the junior division and nine in the senior division. They were recognized, at a campus luncheon.

Top individual junior contestants were Scott Maas, Scribner, overall; Chris Junker, Fairbury, market; Jonathan Anderson, St. Paul, breeding; Sonya Plugge, Bartlett, cattle; Benny Mote, Tulia, Texas, hogs; and John Magnuson, Carroll, sheep.

Junior team winners included: overall, Maurene Polivka of David City, Scott Maas of Scribner, Tim Negley of Ithaca and Clete Kamrath of Shelby; market, Christine Doremus of Benedict, Sonya Plugge of Bartlett, Chris Junker of Fairbury and Jeff Meister of West Point; breeding, Jonathan Anderson and Jon Meyer, both of St. Paul, Kristin Fellers of Lexington and Megan Voss of Lincoln.

Top senior contestants were Nick Emanuel, North Bend, overall, market, breeding, cattle, sheep and evaluation; and Travis Chrisman, York, hogs.

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