Three Fresno State student-produced sausages — Spicy Italian Sausage, Smoked Lamb Sausage and the Crazy Cajun Sausage — are the best in the west as judged at the California Association of Meat Processors Student Competition held March 5 to 7 in Fremont.

Animal Science students Randy Long, a freshman from Manteca, John Amparan, a

graduate student from Los Banos and Tiffany Labuga, a junior from Modesto received the top honors at the competition that was organized for the first time as part of a nationwide annual meat processors competition.

Long’s Spicy Italian Sausage was named the Grand Champion, Amparan’s Smoked Lamb Sausage was the Reserved Grand Champion, and Labuga’s Crazy Cajun Sausage was named Champion.

Senior Jon Mitts of Sacramento received an honorable mention for his Apple Maple Breakfast Sausage.

“Our students swept the competition,” said Dr. John Henson, professor in the Animal Sciences and Agricultural Education Department who oversees the university’s award-wining meat processing program.

In 2000, Henson’s students first earned national acclaim by winning the “Hold the Mustard” award with their Bulldog PepperJack Sausage at the National Meat Association’s Annual Gourmet Sausagefest in Las Vegas, making Fresno State the first university to win the commercial competition.

Last week’s competition was organized by the Pynryn-based California Association of Meat

Processors, which is affiliated with the American Association of Meat Processors, a national trade organization representing more than 1,800 meat, poultry and seafood processors, wholesalers, retailers, caterers, home food service companies and suppliers to the meat industry.


The Fresno State students beat more than 15 participants from CSU, Chico; Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo; the University of California at Davis; and the University of Nevada in Reno.

The University of Nevada participated in the California- based competition because the state of Nevada does not have its own meat processors association, explained Henson.

Dr. Daniel Bartell, dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Technology praised the students, Henson and the Animal Science Department.

“The success of the students is attributed to the breadth of the Animal Science instructional program, which blends theory with practice using the outstanding facilities available on campus,” Bartell said.

Fresno State has a 4,500-square foot multi-functional meat lab facility located in the Agriculture Pavilion on Barstow and Woodrow avenues at the northeast end of the campus. It contains a harvest floor, a processing room, a smoke/ thermal oven, a cold storage and a kitchen.

The lab is equipped to provide hands-on practice and products of the meat industry for maximum student training, Henson said.

In addition to the sausage, the lab produces fresh meat, chop steaks, roast and other value-added products, which supply the campus Farm Market. The lab is fully-USDA inspected and approved.

The sausages, like all student-produced agricultural products, may be purchased at the Farm Market located at Chestnut and Barstow avenues. For hours, call (559) 278-4511.

Copy prepared by University Relations student intern Ravneet Padda.

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