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Meat Animal Evaluation Team wins national championship in dominating fashion

Texas Tech University’s Meat Animal Evaluation Team won first place in the National Meat Animal Evaluation Contest held at the Oklahoma City Stockyards and Oklahoma State University on March 26-27. This win earns the team the title of national champions.

Teams from Texas Tech have won the contest for an unprecedented three years in a row.This year, Texas Tech won the swine, beef evaluation, breeding animal, market animal and communication divisions. They ranked second in the meat and sheep divisions. These honors scored them a total of 8693 points, outdistancing the second place team by more than 336 points.

"The team excelled in every division,” said Coach Ryan Rathmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.  “I am proud of the students for staying focused and working hard to achieve this honor. It is a pleasure to be associated with these kids and the Texas Tech program.”

According to contest officials, the two-day contest was specifically designed to encourage students to seek a more complete understanding of the food supply from conception to consumer. 

"This judging event is perceived as the ultimate judging contest because students must be competent in all areas of the livestock and meats industry to excel,” Rathmann said.

Individually, Drew Perez led the team as high point individual. He was followed by teammates Ben Cammack, Cade Halfmann, Josh Flohr and Henry Ruiz who also finished in the top-ten individuals.

Team members include the following: 

- Cammack, a junior from Seguin

- Tyler Cowie, a junior from Magnolia

- Micah Dorsey, a junior from Strasburg, Colo.

- Shayna Dunlap, a junior from Estancia, N.M.

- Josh Flohr, a junior from Emmitsburg, Md.

- Paige Futrell, a junior from Midland

- Cade Halfmann, a junior from Garden City

- Josh Hasty, a junior from Cleburne

- CA Jones, a junior from Sunray

- Matthew Morales, a senior from Satanta, Kan.

- Perez, a junior from Nara Visa, N.M.

- Ruiz, a junior from Eagle Pass

- Trae Simmons, a junior from Tipton, Ind.

- Olivia Tilly, a junior from Hawley

- Austin Voyles, a senior from Hale Center

- Shanna Ward, a junior from Coffeyville, Kan.

The team is coached by Judd Gardner, Travis O’Quinn and Rathmann.