Texas Tech University

Meat Judging Team Opens 2021 Competition Season With Victory in Wyoming

George Watson

January 27, 2021

meat judging team

The AMSA Mountain West Intercollegiate Contest was held in lieu of the normal season opener in Denver.

Fresh off its latest national championship, the Texas Tech University Meat Judging Team within the Department of Animal & Food Sciences at Texas Tech University opened the 2021 competition season with a victory at the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Mountain West Intercollegiate Contest on Jan. 17 in Laramie, Wyoming.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions and protocols, the Mountain West meet was held in place of the traditional January opener, the National Western Stock Show in Denver.

"The students are an awesome team who worked extremely hard with humility and pursued excellence at a high level," said Mark Miller, coach of the Meat Judging Team and the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo Distinguished Chair in Meat Sciences. "They represented Texas Tech University well."

It was a very close competition, with Texas Tech edging out Interstate 27 neighbor West Texas A&M University by just one point, 3,982 to 3,981. Texas A&M University finished a close third with 3,976 points followed by Big 12 Conference rivals Oklahoma State University (3,972) and Kansas State University (3,952) rounding out the top five.

Angelo State University, a part of the Texas Tech University System, finished seventh with 3,867 points. Texas Tech's alternate team finished third in the alternate division with 3,930 points.

Texas Tech's victory came from its first-place showings in beef judging, specifications and reasons/questions, and a fourth-place finish in overall beef.

Pacing the Texas Tech contingent was Cassie Bendele. The Hondo native finished third overall with 1,010 points. Her highest finish came in specifications where she took second with 97 points. She also finished in the top 10 in beef judging, overall beef and specifications.

Caleb Kunde from Marion rounded out Texas Tech's top 10 overall finishers, coming in 10th with 998 points. His highest finish was fourth place in pork judging, and he also finished in the top 10 in specifications and reasons/questions.

Preston Twilligear from Hondo finished third in reasons/questions and fourth in specifications. Laurl Pfeiffer, also from Hondo, finished seventh in beef judging and ninth in specifications.

Grace Parker from Slaton led the Texas Tech alternate team finishing first overall with 1,029 points.

Other members of the Meat Judging Team are:

  • Jake Bagby from Stephenville

  • Bryce Black from Prosper

  • Grace Carver from Flower Mound

  • Kindle Catching from Howe

  • Arliss Corliss from Estancia, New Mexico

  • Morgan Elsworth from Spring Branch

  • Grayson Harrell from Crandall

  • Skylar Hough-Anderson from Canton

  • Koby Houston from Ralls

  • Shelby Kinsey from Lockhart

  • Hannah Pearson from Oconto, Nebraska

  • Paige Perryman from Lubbock

  • Rance Smith from Royse City

  • Cade Snethen from Otterbein, Indiana

  • Reid Swinney from Deming, New Mexico

  • Kylan Swinney from Deming, New Mexico

  • Dayton Wood from Cumby

Along with Miller, coaches for this year's team are Taylor Schertz from Krum, Conner McKinzie from Stephenville and Grant Kitten from Slaton.