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Texas Tech takes first at Australian international meat judging contest

Texas Tech’s meat judging team took first place honors on Saturday (July 9) at an Australian international meat judging contest in Armidale, New South Wales, report officials with Tech’s Department of Animal and Food Sciences today. The Red Raiders won the annual Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association contest by 433 points, beating 11 Australian and Japanese university competitors. All members of Texas Tech’s 13-member team placed among the event’s top 15 contestants.

Overall the Texas Tech team smoked the rest of the international field, taking top rankings in beef, pork, and lamb carcass judging, reasons/questions, placing’s, and grading, as well as second in retail cut identification.

“This competition was a once in a life time experience,” said Mark Miller, team coach and Tech’s San Antonio Livestock Show Distinguished Chair in Meat Science. “We certainly want to thank all those helped and supported us over the years. They made all of this possible”

Team members competing in Australia included:
Jerra McMath, a senior from Estancia, NM
Drew Cashman, a sophomore from New Windsor, MD
Blaine Corliss, a junior from Estancia, NM
Natalee Smith, a junior from Albemarle, NC
Faith Jurek, a junior from Goldthwaite
Mandy-Jo Laurent, a junior from Nacogdoches
Andrea Nordman, a junior from Florence
Craig Russell, a senior from Visalia, CA
Zach Smith, a junior from Sweetwater
Cody Sultenfuss, a junior from Little-River Academy
Kaitlyn True, a junior from Plainview
Amanda White, a senior from Garden City, KA
Dakota Williams, a sophomore from Glenrose

The team is coached by Miller, Andrea Garmyn; a Texas Tech post-doctoral research associate; and animal and food sciences graduate student Shanna Ward. Miller noted that McMath received high individual honors at the event, while Cashman was honored as second high individual.

Tech’s meat judging team has a strong winning tradition. Earlier this spring they won their seventh consecutive first place at the Houston Livestock Show’s Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest. They were also first at the Southwestern Livestock Show’s Meat Judging Contest in Fort Worth.

During the 2010 judging season, Tech’s meat judging team was undefeated at six of seven national contests, making it one of the most successful teams since meat judging began at Texas Tech in 1938, Miller added.

The Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Association contest includes workshops and seminars in which students heard from industry leaders, giving them a perspective on the Australian and global meat industry. According to the group, one of the association’s goals is exposing and encouraging students into careers in the meat industry.

Written by Norman Martin

CONTACT: Mark Miller, professor and San Antonio Livestock Show Distinguished Chair in Meat Science, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2805, ext. 231 or



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