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Amanda Winchester standing next to meat science abattoir

She may be new to campus, but Central Wyoming College’s Meat Science Instructor Amanda Winchester has been involved in the agricultural field since childhood. Winchester got her introduction to the industry from her father, who was the agricultural extension agent for Fremont County.

“My Dad first got me started when I was eight,” she said. “He helped me find my passion even when I was young.”

Throughout the years, Winchester traveled to several national competitions for livestock judging and meats judging, both as a participant and a coach. In her capacity as a meat judging coach, Winchester instilled her love of the industry in many of her students.

“I have talked kids into participating over the years that didn’t have any agricultural background,” she said. “They just saw my passion and love of the program.”  

Winchester graduated from Northwest College with an associate degree in art in 1994. During this time, she participated on the college’s livestock judging team. Her experience didn’t end there. When she returned to Lander, Winchester reacquainted herself with the local farming organization.

“I have been volunteering with the Fremont County 4-H program for 25 plus years,” she said.

Winchester got married while attending NWC, and she and her husband returned to Lander to start a family and open an equipment rental store. At the same time, she and her mother bought Main Street books. These investments proved to be ill-timed, but Winchester wasn’t afraid to change directions.

“When the economy dropped we decided to close both businesses,” Winchester said. “I started subbing in the Lander School District and found my passion for teaching again.”   

Winchester took advantage of the opportunity to reconnect with her interest in mentorship. When her sons, Jacob and Colby, were grown she decided to enroll in Casper College.

Unfortunately, Winchester had not seen the end of the obstacles she’d have to face.

“When I first went back to college, my husband was diagnosed with stage 3.7 melanoma cancer,” she said. “We went through a tough couple of years with treatments and doctor’s appointments.”

Not one to give up, Winchester completed her courses with remarkable resilience. 

“I just didn’t give myself a chance slowing down my classes,” she said. “I am not sure how I did it all and still was able to go to every appointment with him.”

Winchester’s husband is doing much better now, and she was able to complete her Associate of Science degree at Casper College in May of 2019. From there, she transferred to Texas A&M Commerce and graduated with a bachelor’s of agribusiness in 2020. Now that she is working on her master’s degree at South Dakota State University, Winchester felt like she discovered her dream job when she learned of CWC’s new meat science program.

I was ecstatic from the first day I heard that CWC was putting together this program. I wanted to be part of it in any way possible. ”

Winchester was a welcome addition to the team. As the new instructor of meat science, she is excited to share enthusiasm for the industry with students.

“I am most looking forward to pulling the program together and getting students excited about meat science,” she said. “And to help them find their passion and a career.”