Rachel Strode Hamilton served the American Meat Science Association as Program Director of Intercollegiate Meats Judging from July 2000 until her untimely death. Rachel earned a B.S. degree in animal sciences from the University of Illinois in May 1998. While an undergraduate, she was a member of the 1997 Meats Judging Team and the 1998 Meat Animal Evaluation Team. She completed a Masters degree in meat science from the University of Illinois in May 2000, married Dan Hamilton in June, and immediately went to work for AMSA.
The Rachel Hamilton Memorial “Spirit” award was established to honor a member of each team selected by their peers whose winning approach exemplifies Rachel’s love of meats judging and makes them the teammate we all want to have. Rachel was extremely proud of her meats judging experience. She always strove to do her best, and her infectious attitude and dedication brought out the best in her teammates. Rachel was a very energetic, enthusiastic young woman with an infectious smile. Rachel, the eternal optimist, was a very compassionate, outgoing, kind individual who looked for the good in others. Her attitude, her ability to laugh, her work ethic, her loyalty, and her love of family and God are attributes she possessed and lived and left for us to emulate. Knowing Rachel made each of us a better person.
2014 A-Division Spirit Award
The 2014 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the A-Division were announced at the Cargill High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on November 2, 2014. Those students receiving this award included: Jacob Delgado(Cisco College), Jessica Humphrey (Clarendon College), Shelly Chambers (Fort Hays State University), Lane Johnson (Fort Scott Community College), Chris Orozco (Garden City Community College), Leila Venzor (Tarleton State University), James Theis (Texas A&M University-- Kingsville), and Shelbi Meador (Western Texas College).
2014 Senior Division Spirit Award
The 2014 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the Senior Division were announced at the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on November 16, 2014. Those students receiving this award included: Savina Robles (Angelo State University), Brandy Jo Merrinan (Colorado State University), Josiah Klokkenga (University of Illinois), Patrick Frank (Iowa State University), Anna Petrowski (Kansas State University), Jodi Heilman (University of Kentucky), Jennie Lubbers (Michigan State University), Blake McDonald (University of Missouri), Grant Meiergerd (University of Nebraska), Erin Anderson (North Dakota State University), Kaitlyn Hinds (The Ohio State University), Chance Billups (Oklahoma State University), Jesse Topel (South Dakota State University), Katie Garrett (Texas A&M University), Chad VanderLinden (Texas Tech University), and John Lacey (University of Wyoming).