Texas Tech University’s livestock, meat and wool judging teams began their 2013 season at the National Western Stock Show in Denver this past week. The livestock and meat teams both returned to Lubbock with championship honors, while the wool team was narrowly defeated and finished second.
“These teams show the balance and strength of the program we are building at Texas Tech,” said Mark Miller, Horn Professor and San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Science. “These students represented Texas Tech with excellence. They are a hard-working group that truly understands the value of teamwork.”
In the livestock judging contest, Texas Tech passed the competition in the reasons room, winning the division by 19 points and securing the overall title by 5 points over Oklahoma State University. Kansas State University, Colorado State University and the University of Nebraska completed the top five teams.
Three of the top ten individuals were members of Texas Tech’s team. The team is coached by Ryan Rathmann, the first John W. and Doris Jones Endowed Professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences, along with graduate student Brady Ragland.
Team members include:
- Caetlyn Avant, a junior from Copeville
- Dan Crownover, a junior from Italy
- Blake Davis, a junior from Paragould, Ark.
- Lane Halfmann, a junior from Garden City
- Bo Hutto, a junior from Hondo
- Emily Jackson, a junior from Waco, 10th-high individual
- Valerie Manning, a junior from Mabank
- Tanner Martin, a junior from Roscoe
- Logan Mason, a junior from Lazbuddie
- Kaitlyn Meyer, a junior from Temple
- Kevin Murnin, a junior from Miles City, Mont.
- Stephanie Neuhaus, a junior from Dora, N.M.
- Jordan Richburg, a junior from Deltona, Fla., top high individual
- Nick Rieke, a junior from LaOtto, Ind., 10th-high individual
- Matt Savage, a junior from Seminole
- Isaac Wenzel, a junior from Hamilton
In the meat evaluation contest, Texas Tech enjoyed a 10-point victory and also won the beef judging, overall beef and specifications divisions. Teams from Texas A&M University, Oklahoma State University, Angelo State University and the University of Wyoming completed the top five teams.
Team members include:
- Brittany Blum, a sophomore from Howe
- Colton Campbell, a sophomore from Artesia, N.M.
- Kylan Carson, a sophomore from Olton
- Taelar Childers, a sophomore from Nevada
- Colton Coker, a sophomore from Roby, tied for tenth-high individual
- Aaron Faulkner, a junior from Lenapah, Okla.
- Trey Garza, a sophomore from Edinburg
- Nick Hardcastle, a junior from Wheeler
- Greg Howard, a junior from Bremen, Kan.
- Mallory Jones, a sophomore from Anson
- Kirby Kennedy, a sophomore from Lampasas
- Kristen Knight, a sophomore from Shallowater
- Clayton Krause, a junior from New Braunfels
- Austin Langemeier, a sophomore from Marion, ninth-high individual
- Jacob Mikel, a junior from Vicky, Mo.
- Tyler Nueman, a sophomore from Hondo
- Kassandra Ognoskie, a sophomore from Orting, Wash.
- Bailey Joe Pennington, a sophomore from Sonora
- Luke Sellers, a junior from Denver City
- Christy Woerner, a sophomore from Fredericksburg, third-high individual
- William Wunderlich, a sophomore from Fredericksburg
The 21-member team boasted three individuals in the top ten overall and eight of the top ten overall in the alternate division. The team is coached by Miller who is assisted by graduate student Loni Woolley.
In the wool judging competition, Texas Tech’s two teams finished second and third overall. They were narrowly defeated by South Dakota State University by a seven-point margin. Colorado State University and Texas A&M University’s teams rounded out the top-five overall. Individually, three team members finished in the top ten overall. The top three individuals in the alternate division also were from Texas Tech.
Team members include:
- Victoria Andrews, a freshman from Pflugerville
- Drew Dunlap, a freshman from Plainview
- SyAnn Foster, a freshman from Lockney, finished third in the alternate division
- Colton Fritz, a freshman from Fredericksburg, second-high individual
- Reggie Halfmann, a freshman from Garden City, fourth-high individual
- Cade Hall, a freshman from Artesia, N.M.
- Deshea Hanagan, a freshman from Artesia, N.M.
- Garrett Lam, a freshman from Burkburnett, placed second in the alternate division
- Laramie Priest, a freshman from Lorena, third-high individual
- Taylor Shackelford, a freshman from Gunter
- Taylor Stockton, a freshman from Lubbock
- Hayden Thorp, a freshman from Mertzon
- Chad Vander Linden, a sophomore from Muscatine, Iowa, won the alternate division
- Calvin Welper, a freshman from Shallowater
- Tylee Jo Williams, a freshman from Memphis
The team is coached by instructor Aaron Jennings who is assisted by undergraduates Brittany Thompson and Travis Begley.
The National Western Stock Show began in 1906 and is one of the nation’s oldest and largest shows with a prestigious history of judging contests.
All three teams will continue to compete at additional contests this spring against hundreds of contestants from across the United States. Judging contests are designed to teach students communication skills, rational decision making skills and give them the ability to excel in a competitive environment under pressure. These skills are developed to help students excel both professionally and personally after college.