Livestock Judging Team National Champions for Third Consecutive Year

The competition tested the contestants’ knowledge of cattle, sheep and swine as well as their oral reasons.

Written by Jessica Behnham

Texas Tech Livestock Judging Team

The team won the overall reasons, beef cattle, beef reasons and performance beef cattle divisions, and placed second in the sheep division.

Texas Tech’s Livestock Judging Team was crowned national champions at the 2009 North American International Livestock Exposition.

The team won the contest by a four-point margin, posting a total team score of 4,653 points. Texas A&M University, the University of Nebraska, Western Illinois University and Oklahoma State University rounded out the top five teams.

For the first time in school history, Texas Tech has won the contest for three consecutive years.

“Consistency in winning national championships is rare,” said Kevin Pond, Department of Animal and Food Sciences chairman. “Having three consecutive national championship teams is the result of great coaching, a strong work ethic and attracting the best students to Texas Tech.”

The competition tested the contestants’ knowledge of cattle, sheep and swine as well as their oral reasons.

“It was a thrilling victory because we thought we were too far behind in placings to win,” said Ryan Rathmann, assistant professor and coach of the team. “But, the team won reasons by such a large margin that they narrowly pulled it off.”

The Red Raiders won the overall reasons, beef cattle, beef reasons, and performance beef cattle divisions, and placed second in the sheep division.

Individually, Josh Flohr, a senior from Emmitsburg, Md., was awarded fourth high individual and won the swine reasons and overall reasons divisions. Ben Cammack, a senior from Seguin, won the cattle reasons divisions.

In addition to Flohr and Cammack, team members included:

  • Micah Dorsey, a senior from Strasburg, Colo.
  • Paige Futrell, a senior from Midland
  • Cade Halfmann, a senior from Garden City
  • CA Jones, a senior from Sunray
  • Drew Perez, a senior from Nara Vista, N.M.
  • Drew Schmidt, a senior from Taneytown, Md.
  • Trae Simmons, a senior from Tipton, Ind.
  • Olivia Tilly, a senior from Hawley
  • Austin Voyles, a senior from Hale Center
  • Curtis Williams, a senior from Clovis, N.M.

The team is coached by Rathmann, Josh Campbell and Bryan Bernhard.

Under Rathmann’s leadership the livestock judging teams have garnered six national championships in each of the six years he has coached, three at Texas A&M University and three at Texas Tech. This accomplishment makes him the winningest coach in livestock judging history.

“I’ve been blessed with outstanding students on our judging teams, and I’ve been extremely proud of their accomplishments,” he said. “This win proved to these students that there is nothing in life that they will not be able to take head-on and accomplish with hard work and determination.”


CASNR

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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