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TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY JUDGING TEAMS WIN FOUR NATIONAL TITLES

College Station - Recent wins by the livestock and meat judging teams brought the count up to four national titles won by Texas A&M University this year. The Texas A&M livestock judging team won the International Livestock Judging Contest on Nov. 13 in Louisville, Ky. Team members won every cattle, sheep, swine and reasons divisions, which makes this the first time any team has done that in the contest's history, said Dr. Gary Acuff, head of the department of animal science.

Team members were Blake Bloomberg, Berwick, Ill.; Kyle Culp, Decatur, Ind.; Jon DeClerck, Aledo, Ill.; Carl Muntean, Iola; Zach Rambo, White City, Ore.; Rob Rynarzewski, Woodbine, Md.; Christian Schroeder, Taylor; Hunter Soape, Carthage;

Kaci Starr, Fowlerton; and Garrett Thomas, Shepherd. The team is coached by graduate students Jake Franke of College Station and Jeff Thayne of Seguin. The faculty adviser is Dr. Chris Skaggs of College Station, associate professor in the department of animal science.

Bloomberg was the high-scoring individual, Culp was second-high-scoring, Schroeder was fourth high-scoring, and DeClerk was 10th high-scoring individual.

Also, the meat judging team was named the national champion during the International Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest on Nov. 12 in Dakota City, Neb.

Members of the team were Wade Fisher, Florence; Jessica Igo, Plainview; Jessica Doege, St. Hedwig; Kelly Murdock, Yoakum; Lee Murray, San Saba; Laura May, Hurricane Mills, Tenn.; Russell Harred, Pleasanton; Will Wiederhold, Troy; Joey Muras, LaGrange; Chance Crossland, Floydada; and Kevin Sparks, Poteet.

Murdock was the high-scoring individual, and Doege was the fourth high-scoring high individual. Murdock and Igo were named to the 2006 All-American team. The members of that team are chosen on the basis of their grade-point averages and performances in intercollegiate meat judging contests in 2006.

The Rachel Hamilton Memorial "Spirit" Award was given to Muras. The recipient of this award is chosen by his or her peers. Winners are selected for their team spirit and winning approach to meats judging.

The coach is graduate student Eric Metteauer of Chireno. The faculty adviser is Dr. Davey Griffin of College Station, Texas Cooperative Extension meats specialist.

Members of the livestock judging team who are not on the traveling team were Laura Jane Ashorn, Brenham; Kyle Baker, Seguin; James Dunklin, Pflugerville; Caleb Holt and Jeremy Jeffcoat, both of Smyer; Katy Kemp, Decatur; Chris Meighen, Huntsville; Chris Peuster, Slater, Mo.; and Kari Smith, Bryan.

The poultry judging team won a national title at competition at the University of Arkansas recently (see http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/POSC/Nov1006a.htm). The academic quiz bowl team from Texas A&M's department of agricultural economics won its fourth national championship in September (see http://agnews.tamu.edu/dailynews/stories/AGEC/Sep1906a.htm).

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