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Tech Livestock Judging Team finishes season as reserve national champions

Tech Livestock Judging Team finishes season as reserve national champions

Texas Tech’s Livestock Judging Team was edged out by 18 points at the North American International Livestock Exposition on Tuesday (Nov. 19.) in Louisville, and finished their season as Reserve National Champions. The national contest tested the contestants’ knowledge of cattle, sheep and swine, as well as their oral reasons.

Since 1900, teams have gathered from across the nation to compete for the title. This year’s contest, which had 31 universities represented, was won by Texas A&M. Kansas State, Oklahoma State and Iowa State finished third, fourth and fifth overall. Texas Tech was second in cattle, third in sheep and swine, and fourth in oral reasons.

“I’m really proud of all of the students on the team. They set their goals high this year and pursued their objective with a relentless work ethic that is rare,” said Ryan Rathmann, the team’s coach and Tech’s John W. and Doris Jones Endowed Professor in Animal and Food Sciences. “They’re high quality people, and I know this experience will go a long way in shaping their future.”

Three Red Raiders finished in the top-ten overall. Lane Halfmann, a senior from Garden City, was high individual overall. Emily Jackson, a senior from Waco, finished ninth and Nick Rieke, a senior from LaOtto, Ind., was tenth.

Additional team members included:

  • Caetlyn Avant, a senior from Copeville
  • Dan Crownover, a senior from Italy
  • Blake Davis, a senior from Paragould, Ark.
  • Bo Hutto, a senior from Hondo
  • Valerie Manning, a senior from Mabank
  • Tanner Martin, a senior from Roscoe
  • Logan Mason, a senior from Lazbuddie
  • Kaitlyn Meyer, a senior from Temple
  • Kevin Murnin, a senior from Miles City, Mont.
  • Stephanie Neuhaus, a senior from Dora, N.M.
  • Jordan Richburg, a senior from Deltona, Fla.
  • Matt Savage, a senior from Seminole
  • Isaac Wenzel, a senior from Hamilton

The team was coached by Rathmann along with graduate student Brady Ragland.

Two Texas Tech team members were selected to the All-American Team, as well. Crownover and Jackson both received this prestigious honor based upon their scholastic achievements, community service and contest performance. “Livestock judging has been an incredibly rewarding experience for us all.” Jackson said.

Written by Moriah Beyers

CONTACT: Ryan Rathmann, John W. and Doris Jones Endowed Professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at 742-2805 ext. 233 or



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