Meat Judging Team Claims 10th National Championship

The Red Raiders won by 50 points, and also won five of their six national contests this year.

Written by Moriah Beyers

The national championship trophy will reside on the Texas Tech campus for the second straight year.

The national championship trophy will reside on the Texas Tech campus for the second straight year.

Texas Tech students earned the school's 10th national championship in meat judging yesterday (Nov. 18) at the American Meat Science Association's International Meat Judging Contest held in Dakota City, Neb.

The team won the beef judging, lamb judging, pork judging, specifications, placings and reasons divisions. It finished second in total beef and beef grading.

The team won the contest by a 50-point margin and also won five of the six national contests during the 2012 meat judging season.

“One of the most impressive things about this team is how well they responded to adversity,” said Mark Miller, Horn Professor and San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Science. “They courageously came back from a loss at the Eastern and committed themselves to working hard as a team to win decisively at the American Royal, Cargill and the International.”

Individual placements were as follows:

  • Bo Hutto, a junior from Hondo, was high-ranked individual
  • Valerie Manning, a junior from Mabank, was second
  • Colton Christian, a junior from Farwell, was fifth

In the alternate division, Texas Tech boasted three of the top-ten individuals overall.

  • Heather Rode, a junior from Doss, was high-ranked individual
  • Tanner Adams, junior from Sanger, was fourth
  • Steven Ebeling, a junior from Plainview, was sixth

More awards

Additional team members included Weston Burson, a junior from Florence; Dan Crownover, a junior from Italy; Garydale Grubelnik, a junior from Raton, N.M.; Trevor King, a junior from Winnsboro; Zac Miller, a junior from Seymour; and Dewayne Phillips, a junior from Stephenville.

Hutto and Crownover were both named First Team All-American team members. Manning was named a Second Team All-American team member. The members of the All-American Teams are selected based upon scholastic achievement and competition performance.

The prestigious Rachel Hamilton Spirit Award, an award given in recognition of the commitment, dedication and teamwork displayed during a team member’s meat judging career, was given to Zac Miller.

The team was coached by graduate students Collin Corbin and Henry Ruiz along with Miller.

The remaining teams in the top-five included Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, Michigan State University and Angelo State University.

Texas Tech now boasts a total of ten national championships in intercollegiate meat judging (1989, 1991, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012). Since 2000, the Red Raiders have dominated meat judging competitions winning more than 55 percent of all national contests. During the past four years, they have won 27 out of the past 34 competitions.

According to program officials, the meat judging program strives to teach students communication skills, rational decision making skills and give students the ability to excel in a competitive environment under pressure. These skills are developed to help students excel both professionally and personally.


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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