Livestock Judging Team Finishes as Reserve National Champions

Senior Red Raider Lane Halfmann finished as the high individual overall.

Three Red Raiders finished in the top 10 overall competition.

The Texas Tech University Livestock Judging Team was edged out by 18 points at the North American International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky., on Tuesday (Nov. 19) and finished its season as Reserve National Champions.

Since 1900, teams have gathered from across the nation to compete for the title. This year there were 31 universities represented. The competition tested the contestants’ knowledge of cattle, sheep and swine as well as their oral reasons.

Texas A&M University won the competition. Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University and Iowa State University finished third, fourth and fifth overall, respectively. The team from Texas Tech was second in cattle, third in sheep and swine, and fourth in oral reasons.

“I am really proud of all of the students on the team,” said Coach Ryan Rathmann, the John W. and Doris Jones Endowed Professor in Texas Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences. “They set their goals high this year and pursued their objective with a relentless work ethic that is rare. They are high quality people, and I know this experience will go a long way in shaping their futures.”

Three Red Raiders finished in the top 10 overall. Lane Halfmann, a senior from Garden City, was high individual overall. Emily Jackson, a senior from Waco, finished ninth and Nick Rieke, a senior from LaOtto, Ind., was tenth.

Additional team members included:

  • Caetlyn Avant, a senior from Copeville
  • Dan Crownover, a senior from Italy
  • Blake Davis, a senior from Paragould, Ark.
  • Bo Hutto, a senior from Hondo
  • Valerie Manning, a senior from Mabank
  • Tanner Martin, a senior from Roscoe
  • Logan Mason, a senior from Lazbuddie
  • Kaitlyn Meyer, a senior from Temple
  • Kevin Murnin, a senior from Miles City, Mont.
  • Stephanie Neuhaus, a senior from Dora, N.M.
  • Jordan Richburg, a senior from Deltona, Fla.
  • Matt Savage, a senior from Seminole
  • Isaac Wenzel, a senior from Hamilton

The team was coached by Rathmann along with graduate student Brady Ragland.

Two Texas Tech team members were selected to the All-American Team, as well. Crownover and Jackson both received this prestigious honor based upon their scholastic achievements, community service and contest performance.

“Livestock judging has been an incredibly rewarding experience for us all,” Jackson said at the conclusion of the contest. “We have gained friendships and expanded our livestock knowledge. We will cherish these memories and are all very proud of each other’s accomplishments.”


The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is made up of six departments:

  • Agriculture and Applied Economics
  • Agricultural Education and Communications
  • Animal and Food Science
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Natural Resources Management

The college also consists of eleven research centers and institutes, including the Cotton Economics Research Institute, the International Cotton Research Center and the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute.



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