Texas Tech Meat Evaluation Team Wins Back-to-Back National Championships

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.

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.rathmann@ttu.edu.