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Top livestock judging team coach joins AFS faculty

image imageRyan Rathmann, one of the nation’s leading livestock judging team coaches, has been named an assistant professor in Texas Tech University’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences. He began his teaching and research duties on Sept. 1.

The Bastrop native indicated that he’s particularly interested in continuing his research into the scientific validations of assumptions made in live animal evaluation across all species. In the past his research has focused on feedlot nutrition, carcass composition and muscle biology.

Critical Role. “Despite tremendous advancements in genetic technologies associated with the more precise selection of parent animals and the management and marketing of terminal animals, subjective live animal evaluation is always going to play a critical role in animal selection practices,” Rathmann said.

One of his goals is to provide a greater understanding of the bridge between these technologies and subjective evaluation principles in order to make animal breeders and marketers more precise in their decision making.

Separately, Rathmann continues his involvement with the university’s national championship livestock judging and meat animal evaluation teams, serving as a coach and faculty advisor for both teams.

Dominate Competition. Under Rathmann’s leadership his livestock judging teams have garnered five national championships in each of the five years he has coached, three at Texas A&M University and two here at Texas Tech. “I’ve been blessed with outstanding students on our judging teams and I’ve been extremely proud of their accomplishments,” he said.

Rathmann’s teams not only win national championships, they often dominate the competition with record-setting scores. For instance, his 2003 team won every national contest in which it was entered and earned the coveted national championship Spoor Trophy with a record breaking score, replacing a benchmark that had stood for more than 40 years.

Rathmann received his bachelor’s degree in animal science and master’s degree in beef cattle reproduction from Texas A&M. His doctorate in ruminant nutrition is from Texas Tech.

Written by Sean Cleveland

CONTACT: Ryan Rathmann, Assistant Professor, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2805 ext 233 or ryan.rathmann@ttu.edu.

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