Texas Tech’s Meat Judging Team Wins National Championship

The Texas Tech University Meat Judging Team took home the first place title at the American Meat Science Association’s International Meat Judging Contest held Nov. 13 in Dakota City, Neb.

Winning by a 20-point margin, the team scored an overall 4,176 points. The Red Raiders also won awards in the reasons, beef judging, beef grading and overall beef divisions. Rounding out the top five teams in the contest were Colorado State University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University and Texas A&M University.

“This team committed themselves to being the best,” said Mark Miller, a Texas Tech Horn Professor and San Antonio Livestock Show Distinguished Chair in Meat Science. “They were unselfish and weren’t worried about their individual achievements. This resulted in one of the most consistent finishes I have ever seen in a meat judging contest.”

Individual placements are as follows:

  • Jerra McMath, a senior from Estancia, N.M., placed fourth overall
  • Travis Begely, a junior from Plainview, placed fifth overall
  • Zach Smith, a junior from Sweetwater, finished seventh overall
  • Dakotah Williams, a junior from Glenrose, placed tenth overall

In the alternate division:

  • Drew Cashman, a junior from New Windsor, Md., won the division
  • Cody Helms, a senior from Cleburne, finished second
  • Amanda White, a senior from Garden City, Kan., placed third
  • Andrea Nordman, a senior from Florence, placed fifth
  • Craig Russell, a senior from Visalia, Calif., placed seventh
  • Faith Jurek, a junior from Goldthwaite, placed eighth
  • Natalee Smith, a senior from Albemarle, N.C., finished ninth

Additional team members include Blaine Corliss, a senior from Estancia, N.M.; Mandy-Jo Laurent, a junior from Nacogdoches; Cody Sultenfuss, a junior from Little-River Academy; and Kaitlyn True, a junior from Plainview. The team is coached by Miller and graduate student Shanna Ward.

Team members Begley, McMath and Smith were named 2011 First Team All-American members. Williams was named a 2011 Second Team All-American Team member. All-American team members are selected based upon scholastic achievement and competition performance. The prestigious Rachel Hamilton Spirit Award was given to Sultenfuss in recognition of the commitment, dedication and teamwork he displayed during his meat judging career.

Texas Tech boasts a total of nine national championships in intercollegiate meat judging and has won 22 of its past 28 competitions.

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 CONTACT: Mark Miller, Professor of Meat Science and Muscle Biology, Department of Animal and Food Services, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2805 ext.231 or mfmrraider@aol.com.