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.
2016 A-Division Spirit Award
The 2016 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the A-Division were announced at the Cargill High Plains Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on October 30, 2016. Those students receiving this award included: Kelbi Hyles (Cisco College), Thachary Mayer(Clarendon College), Chad McKibben(Fort Scott Community College), Kyle Hickok (Garden City Community College), and Tracer Jones (Western Texas College).
2016 Senior Division Spirit Award
The 2016 Hamilton "Spirit" Awards for the Senior Division were announced at the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on November 13, 2016. Those students receiving this award included: Wesley Rogge (Angelo State University), Jana Armstrong (Colorado State University), Annika Paris (Fresno State University), Haley Webb (University of Florida), Monica Millard (University of Illinois), Michael Stender (Iowa State University), Kevin Meng (Kansas State University), Alex Kranz (University of Missouri), Nicolas Herrera (University of Nebraska), Caroline Miller (Ohio State University), Julianna Albrecht (Oklahoma State University), Kyler Johnson (South Dakota State University), Josie Lee (Tarleton State University), Frank Lopez (Texas A&M University), and Jessica Humphrey (Texas Tech University).