The prospect of contracting salmonella is far greater when patronizing local restaurants. Funny, HD is all over our butts at some contests, most usually in counties where restaurants are swarming with rats and cockroaches -- which I haven't seen in any BBQ camp.
Getting garnish is more difficult for you. So? Getting sauce and rub is more difficult for me -- we make our own. Hell, getting TO a contest is more difficult for us -- we drive up to 17 hours one way to find one. Everybody's got their own hurdles, and the only place the playing field is perfectly level is inside that 9x9 styrofoam box.
As for improvement -- well, now we finally come to the "meat" of the matter. I find that as meat scores improve, concerns over garnish diminish. Nobody turns in 100% perfect meat every time not even Myron. Perhaps that's more difficult than arguing about garnish in the off-season.
Don't practice until you get it right; practice until you can't get it wrong.
Don't overthink or undercook.
Rhythm 'n QUE