Judging Teams Begin Year with Strong Outings

Red Raiders combine to secure two first-place finishes and two second-place finishes.

Texas Tech University’s meat, wool and livestock judging teams once again proved that Texas Tech’s judging program is one of the most consistent and competitive in the nation at the recent National Western Stock Show held in Denver.

“I am proud of the consistency we have developed in our judging program here at Tech,” said Professor Mark Miller, the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Science.  “Each team has a competitive spirit that drives them to excellence.”

Meat Judging Team wins first

Meat Judging Team

The Meat Judging Team began its season with a 13-point victory, posting a total team score of 4,076 points. The team won the pork judging, specifications and placing divisions.

Texas A&M University, Colorado State University, Oklahoma State University and the University of Wyoming finished second through fifth, respectively.

The Red Raiders also boasted two of the top-10 individuals in the competition and had six of the top-10 individuals in the alternate division.

Individual placements are as follows:

  • Zachary Grimsley, a sophomore from Abernathy, placed third
  • Lukas Ziegler, a junior from New Windsor, Md., placed fifth overall

In the alternate division:

  • DeShea Hanagan, a sophomore from Artesia, N.M., placed first
  • Caetlyn Avant, a senior from Copeville, placed second
  • Mehgan Murray, a sophomore from Wylie, placed third
  • David Holland, a junior from Killeen, placed fourth
  • Chad Vander Linden, a junior from Muscatine, Iowa, placed fifth
  • Lindsey Drey, a sophomore from Houston, placed tenth

Additional team members include Kaitlyn Farmer, a junior from Aztec, N.M.; Autumn Ritchey, a sophomore from Houston; Linay Runnels, a sophomore from Hondo; and Jeremy Garcia, a junior from Houston.

The team is coached by graduate students Drew Cashman and Loni Woolley and Travis O’Quinn, a post-doctoral research associate, along with Miller.

The team will compete at two more contests this spring including the Southwestern in Fort Worth and the Houston Livestock Show.

Wool Judging Team finishes second and third

Wool Judging Team

The Wool Judging Team finished a consistent second and third with its two teams in Denver behind Texas A&M University. They also had the top three individuals in both the reasons and placing divisions.

Individually, Texas Tech had three members finish in the top ten overall.

  • Gabe Jennings, a freshman from Fredonia, was third
  • Blake Conners, a freshman from Wolfforth, was fifth
  • Bryce Winfrey, a freshman from Seminole, was ninth

Additional team members include:

  • Erin Beyer, a freshman from Brookshire
  • Thomas Boyle, a freshman from Mission
  • Cheyanne Bullock, a freshman from Krum            
  • Jess Carney, a freshman from Collinsville
  • Clay Dale, a freshman from Hondo           
  • Hannah Diles, a freshman from D’Hanis
  • Darby Gonzales, a freshman from Hondo 
  • Melanie Howell, a freshman from Seymour
  • Hallie Hutto, a freshman from Hondo
  • Erin Klein, a freshman from Littlefield
  • Bethany Kondik, a freshman from Dripping Springs
  • Madison Langemeier, a freshman from Marion
  • Audry Leib, a freshman from Morse
  • Zane Mauney, a freshman from Santo
  • Michaela Pinder, a freshman from League City

The team is coached by Aaron Jennings, an instructor in the department, and undergraduates Reggie Halfmann and Colton Fritz.

They will also compete at both the San Antonio and Houston Livestock Shows this spring.

Livestock Judging Team has strong start

Livestock Judging Team

The Livestock Judging Team began its spring with first and second place finishes. The team won the Collegiate Carload contest – a contest unique to the National Western Stock Show where the participants evaluate pens of cattle. The team finished second behind Oklahoma State in the livestock judging contest where they evaluated cattle, sheep, goats and swine and presented oral reasons.

Individually, Hayden Brown, a junior from Midland, was third in the Carload Contest, and Ian Schaefer, a junior from Garden City, ranked sixth overall in the livestock judging contest. 

Additional team members include:

  • Brittany Blum, a junior from Howe
  • Kylan Carson, a junior from Olton
  • Colton Coker, a junior from Roby
  • Austin Crissman, a junior from Bells
  • Nick Fitzsimmons, a junior from Vail, Iowa
  • Garrett Foote, a junior from Texico, N.M. 
  • Taylor Frank, a junior from Berthoud, Colo.
  • Cassie Godwin, a junior from Prescott, Ark.
  • Tate Horwood, a junior from Sterling City 
  • Austin Langemeier, a junior from Marion
  • Reina Lewis, a junior from Tulia
  • Jacob Mckillip, a junior from Lafayette, Ind.
  • Bailey Riedel, a junior from San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  • Taylor Tjaden, a junior from San Angelo 

The team is coached by Assistant Professor Ryan Rathmann, graduate student Brady Ragland and undergraduate Lane Halfmann.

Additionally, the team will compete at Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston this spring.

The National Western Stock Show began in 1906 and is one of the nation’s oldest and largest shows with a prestigious history of judging contests.


Meat Judging Team Wins Third Straight National Title

Livestock Judging Team Finishes as Reserve National Champions

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