Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Meat Judging Team Captures 12th National Championship

George Watson

November 17, 2015

Juniors Erin Beyer and Clay Bendele take the top two individual spots as Texas Tech edges Wyoming for its fourth national championship in the last five years.

2015 Texas Tech Meat Judging Team
The 2015 Texas Tech meat judging team 

Texas Tech University's meat judging team is back on top.

On the strength of having the top two individual finishes, the meat judging team from the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources captured its 12th national championship at the International Meat Judging Contest on Sunday (Nov. 15) in Dakota City, Nebraska.

"Once again, the young men and women on the meat judging team have brought praise and honor to the university," Texas Tech President M. Duane Nellis said. "With 12 national championships, Texas Tech continues to be the benchmark for other programs to follow. Congratulations to coaches Mark Miller, Dan Crownover and Bo Hutto for their dedication and to the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources for its commitment to our students."

It is the fourth national championship in the last five years for Texas Tech, which outlasted the University of Wyoming by 21 points, 4142-4121, to claim the title. Texas A&M took third with 4,086 points, while Oklahoma State (4,076) and Kansas State (4,073) rounded out the top five.

"This is an amazing group of students that truly epitomized excellence this whole year," said Miller, head coach of the team and a professor of animal and food sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources. "These students represented Texas Tech University with excellence."

Texas Tech won the overall beef, beef judging and placings categories, finished second in pork judging and third in beef grading and reasons.

Texas Tech was led by the top two individuals in Erin Beyer and Clay Bendele, both of whom were selected as All-Americans. Beyer, a junior from Brookshire, totaled 1,054 points by taking first place in three events – overall beef, pork judging and placings. Bendele, a junior from Hondo, finished second just two points behind at 1,052. He took first place in lamb judging and reasons.

Beyer also finished second in beef judging and fourth in specifications. Bendele took third in beef judging and fourth in overall beef.

Morgan Boyer, a senior from Wallisville, finished third in overall beef and fifth in both beef judging and beef grading. Michaela Pinder, a junior from League City, finished eighth in both beef judging and pork judging.

"The Texas Tech meat judging team has enjoyed a great deal of success in the last several years," said Michael Orth, chairman of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. "Talented coaches and students, combined with a great work ethic and stakeholder support, make that possible. This team worked very hard and was rewarded with a national championship. I am very proud of the whole group."

Texas Tech also had the four individual finishers in the top 10 of the alternate division.

Cody Shannon, a senior from Royse City, finished third overall in the alternate division with 834 points. Zena Doty, a senior from La Plata, New Mexico, was fifth with 831 points. Erin Klein, a junior from Littlefield, and Sean Morrow, a junior from Nolan, finished seventh and eighth, respectively, scoring 822 and 820 points.

Other members of the meat judging team are:

  • Elizabeth Burges, a senior from Graham
  • Annalisa Clark, a junior from Las Cruces, New Mexico
  • Scotta Faulkenberry, a senior from Stephenville
  • Landon French, a senior from Burleson
  • Darby Gonzales, a junior from Hondo
  • Melani Howell, a junior from Seymour
  • Hallie Hutto, a junior from Hondo
  • Kyle Lambert, a junior from Sweetwater
  • Madison Langemeier, a junior from Marion

"We were blessed with an excellent road trip leading up to the contest," Miller said. "The classes were very challenging, but the team performed extremely well and won the contest in placings."