Meat Judging Team Claims Fourth Consecutive Championship

The four-member team edged out the defending national champions to earn its fourth consecutive championship at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest held March 8. A second Texas Tech team placed fourth in the overall team standings.

Written by: Ben Samples

The Texas Tech University meat judging team proved, once again, it’s simply a cut above the rest.

The four-member team edged out the defending national champions to earn its fourth consecutive championship at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest held March 8. A second Texas Tech team placed fourth in the overall team standings.

"Houston is the only competition that you can have more than one team representing a university," said Jesse Collins, a coach of the team. "Having two teams place in the top five is pretty unheard of in a contest like that."

The team overcame competition from regional powerhouses, including Texas A&M University and Colorado State University, which is coached by a Texas Tech alumnus.

"Texas Tech has a long tradition of excellence in the meat science and judging program," said Kevin Pond, chair of the Department of Animal and Food Sciences. "Our outstanding facilities, coaches and close proximity to the animal industry are a great advantage."

In the individual standings, team member Ben Estes placed second, while Tyler Cowie and Shanna Ward finished fifth and ninth overall, respectively.

The team is coached by Mark Miller, professor of animal science and food technology, and graduate students Collins and Justin Derington. Team members include: Cowie, Estes, Ward, Paden Daniels, Shayna Dunlap, Matthew Morales, Trevor Thompson and Heather Veltri.

CONTACT: Kayla Rathmann, coordinator of student programs, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2808, or kayla.rathmann@ttu.edu