Written by: Ben Samples
Texas Tech University’s meat animal evaluation team won its second consecutive national
championship March 27-28 at the 2008 National Meat Animal Evaluation Contest held
at the Oklahoma City Stockyards and Oklahoma State University.
Texas Tech won the market animal, breeding and meat divisions and placed second in
the communications division, earning a 110-point victory over the second place team.
"We have worked hard to establish Texas Tech as the premiere judging program in the
nation," said coach Ryan Rathmann. "This win serves as confirmation that the Department
of Animal and Food Sciences and its livestock and meat science evaluation programs
are at the top."
According to officials, the contest was specifically designed to encourage students
to seek a more complete understanding of the food supply, from conception to consumer.
"This judging event is perceived as the ultimate judging contest because students
must be competent in all areas of the livestock and meats industry to excel," Rathmann
said. "This team is comprised of extremely intelligent, hardworking and knowledgeable
young men and women. I am proud of their accomplishment and pleased to see them represent
the department with excellence."
Individually, Judd Gardner led the team with a first place finish, followed by teammates
Chance Williams and Bryan Bernhard, who finished eighth and tenth, respectively.
Team members include the following: Gardner, Estancia, N.M.; Williams, Quemado, N.M.;
Bernhard, Seguin; Markus Arnold, Panhandle; Jennifer Blackburn, Grady, N.M.; Josh
Campbell, Las Cruces, N.M.; Ben Estes, Hollis, Okla.; Zach Gilbert, Sweetwater; Colton
Long, Sterling City; Ben Pyke, Humble; Aaron Renfroe, Ozona; Trevor Thompson, Pilot
Point; Gered Smith, White Deer; T. Chance Van Dyke, Hobbs, N.M.; Brett Wheeler, Plant
City, Fla.; Micah Walker, Sulphur Springs; and Troy Walker, Michigantown, Ind.
The team is coached by Travis O’Quinn and Rathmann.
CONTACT: Kayla Rathmann, coordinator of student and alumni programs, Animal and Food
Sciences Department, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2805 ext. 248 or Kayla.email@example.com.