Students won a combined total of $7,000 in scholarships at the North American Meat Institute’s Collegiate SausageFest Competition during the association’s annual Meat Industry Summit this week in Carlsbad, California. The inaugural competition was held concurrently with the Meat Institute’s popular SausageFest event, during which association members prepared their best sausage or other ready-to-eat product for a chance to claim the coveted “Hold the Mustard” Award.
In this year’s collegiate competition, teams from Fresno State University and Texas Tech University developed innovative sausage products, labels and marketing plans that were reviewed by a panel of judges composed of industry representatives. The judges conducted interviews with the student teams to evaluate the feasibility of their plans, including assessments of scalability, pricing and other commercialization factors.
“The popular annual SausageFest competition provides a unique opportunity for Meat Institute members to showcase their inventive and delicious product offerings against the backdrop of one of the industry’s seminal events,” said Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts. “We’re thrilled to have added a collegiate component to this year’s competition, and congratulate these talented students on their hard work and impressive contest entries. These students represent the bright future of our industry and we hope the scholarships will help them achieve their academic and extracurricular goals.”
Judges awarded first place to students from Fresno State University for their Poppin Bulldog Sausage. The Smokin’ Southwestern Sausage, developed by students from Texas Tech University, won second place. Meanwhile, a second team from Texas Tech University won third place for their Philly Brat sausage. First place winners each received $1,000 scholarships, with second place recipients winning $500 individual scholarships and third place finishers each receiving $250. All three teams also earned recognition plaques.
Scholarships were supported by the North American Meat Institute Scholarship Foundation (Scholarship Foundation) and funded through a generous contribution from Gillum Family Farms, located in Fresno, California.
In addition, attendees to the Meat Industry Summit voted for their favorite-tasting sausage from the three teams, choosing Fresno State University’s Poppin Bulldog Sausage as the winner of the “People’s Choice Award.” Conference attendees also chose Broadleaf’s wild boar, jalapeno and cheese sausage as the winner of the 2019 “Hold the Mustard” Award.
The Scholarship Foundation each year awards scholarships to high-performing sophomores, juniors and seniors attending accredited four-year colleges or universities who are enrolled in an approved animal, meat or food science degree or culinary arts program. Last year, the Scholarship Foundation awarded $55,000 in scholarships to 11 exemplary students. The 2019-2020 undergraduate scholarship application is currently open, and applicants can apply through June 1, 2019.
The Scholarship Foundation is supported by generous contributions from Meat Institute members and industry allies. Those interested in donating to the Scholarship Foundation should send contributions, which are tax deductible, to NAMI Scholarship Foundation, 1150 Connecticut Ave., NW 12th Floor, Washington, DC 20036. Questions regarding the Scholarship Foundation should be directed to KatieRose McCullough, Ph.D., MPH at firstname.lastname@example.org.