Texas Tech livestock, meat judging teams open fall with solid showings
By: George Watson
Texas Tech's livestock and meat judging teams opened the 2017 fall competition campaign each with second-place finishes at the National Barrow Show in Austin, Minnesota. The livestock team came within one point of taking the overall title, coming in just behind Western Illinois with 3,205 points, thanks to three individuals finishing in the top 20 overall.
Will Gibson, a senior from Newton, Mississippi, finished eighth overall to lead Texas Tech with 651 points. Gibson also placed fourth in the reasons competition with 188 points. Cameron Anderson, a senior from Needville, and Kyle Vehige, a senior from Bonnots Mill, Missouri, finished in 16th and 17th place, respectively, each with 643 points.
Other members of the livestock judging team are:
• Jonah Biensch, a senior from Marsden, Saskatchewan
• Kaylee Casey, a senior from Malvern, Arkansas
• Mason Flack, a senior from North Henderson, Illinois
• Preston Lawrence, a senior from Pottsboro
• Jim Waldrop, a senior from Moultrie, Georgia
• Mason Weadock, a senior from Wall
• Jack Redifer, a senior from Blacksburg, Virginia
• Brayden Hawkins, a senior from Cleburne
The team is coached by Jon DeClerck, a teaching assistant in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences, and is supervised by Ryan Rathmann, the John W. And Doris Jones professor of beef cattle biology.
The meat judging team also had a solid opening competition, finishing second to Kansas State with 3,037 points at the contest, which consisted entirely of pork products and combined fresh pork with several processed meat classes such as sliced and slab bacon, smoked ham and pork chops. It is sponsored by Hormel.
April Molitor, a junior from Hondo, paced the Texas Tech team with an eighth-place finish, garnering 775 points. She finished fourth in processed meats and seventh in specifications. Clay Braden, a junior from Wall, was 14th overall on the strength of a seventh-place finish in total placing. He also finished ninth in fresh meats and 10th in processed meats.
Right behind Braden was Ben Mills, a junior from Shallowater, in 15th place. Mills took second in fresh meats and also in reasons/questions. Rounding out the top 20 finishers for Texas Tech was Maddy Ainsley, a junior from Hondo, who took ninth in specifications.
Other members of the meat judging team are:
• Keeley Sears, a senior from Weatherford
• Cole Perkins, a senior from Llano
• Tommy Fletcher, a senior from LaVernia
• Kyle Mahagan, a junior from Plainview
The team is supervised by Andrea Garmyn, a research assistant professor in the Department of Animal & Food Sciences.
The livestock judging program enters the fall semester as the two-time defending national champions while the meat judging program is seeking its fifth national title this decade and third in five years.
CONTACT: Michael Orth, chairman, Department of Animal and Food Sciences, Texas Tech University at (806) 834-5653 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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