Texas Tech Meat Judging Team Wins Competition at National Western Contest

The livestock team finished fourth at a competition in Colorado by winning the sheep- and goat-judging categories.

2016 Meat Judging Team Denver

2016 Meat Judging Team

Fresh off the program’s 12th national championship last fall, the Texas Tech University meat judging team opened the spring season with a victory Sunday (Jan. 17) at the American Meat Science Association National Western Collegiate Meat Judging Contest in Greeley, Colorado.

The Texas Tech team from the Department of Animal and Food Sciences in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, outpaced Colorado State University with 4,198 points. CSU was second with 4,159 points, followed by Oklahoma State University (4,137), Texas A&M University (4,098) and the University of Missouri (4,062).

Tommy Fletcher, a sophomore from LaVernia, finished as the top overall winner with 1,068 points. Fletcher took first place in beef grading (268 points), overall beef (553) and specifications (100). Fletcher also finished sixth in beef judging and reasons while taking 10th in total placing.

Chelsi Vineyard, a sophomore from Bridgeport, took first in beef judging with 290 points and total placing (497) while finishing sixth in lamb judging (142). She also finished eighth in reasons and 10th in specifications. Cole Perkins, who finished fourth overall with 1,054 points, took third in pork judging, fourth in specifications and reasons, seventh in total placing and overall beef, eighth in beef judging and ninth in lamb judging.

Kye Schwartz, a sophomore from San Angelo, finished sixth overall with 1,045 points. He was fifth in overall beef, sixth in beef grading and ninth in specifications.

Other members of the meat judging team are:

  • Lane Harrington, a junior from Waxahachie
  • Augustus Holbein, a junior from Hebbronville
  • Jessica Humphrey, a junior from Okeechobee, Florida
  • Kiersten Scott, a junior from Scott City, Kansas
  • Katlynn Freeman, a sophomore from Panhandle
  • Shannon O’Quinn, a sophomore from Galveston
  • Keeley Sears, a sophomore from Weatherford
  • Courtney Jasik, a junior from Mertzon
  • Blayne Troxell, a sophomore from Pampa
  • Boyd Henry, a sophomore from San Angelo
  • Megan Writt, a sophomore from Spring
  • Kyle Caldwell, a sophomore from Midlothian
2016 Livestock Judging Team Denver

2016 Livestock Judging Team

The meat judging team is coached by professor Mark Miller and assisted by instructor Loni Lucherk and graduate assistants Nick Hardcastle and Mallorie Phelps.

The Texas Tech livestock judging team also competed over the weekend, finishing fourth at a competition in Denver with first-place finishes in sheep and goat judging.

Members of the livestock judging team are:

  • Gabe Jennings, a junior from Fredonia
  • Brody Halfmann, a junior from Garden City
  • Johnathan Nieman, a junior from New Home
  • Chama Martin, a junior from Mason
  • Zane Webste, a junior r from San Simon, Arizona
  • Dakota Crissman, a junior from Bells
  • Bryce Winfrey, a junior from Seminole
  • L.J. Young, a junior from Pendleton, Indiana
  • Austin Adams, a junior from Hedley
  • Maclaine Shuls, a junior from Meeker, Colorado

The livestock team is coached by associate professor Ryan Rathmann and assisted by doctoral student Jon DeClerck.


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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