Livestock Judging Team wins reserve champion

LOUISVILLE — The 2011 TAMU Senior Livestock Judging Team closed out the competition season with a reserve champion finish at the North American International Livestock Exposition on Nov. 14, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Aggie’s finished behind Texas Tech University, with Oklahoma State University, Iowa State University and University of Nebraska rounding out the top five.

In individual competition, Aggie team member Cody Marburger finished seventh high overall, fifth in reasons and fifth in cattle. Mike Helle placed ninth high in hogs and 10th high in reasons.

The All-American Livestock Judging Team Award honorees also were named and included Texas A&M’s Ryan Smoes. The All-American Team recognizes the top 10 livestock judging team members who have made a personal commitment to livestock judging and who have excelled in academics, university and industry activities, and community service.

“This is a significant accomp-lishment for Ryan and he is very deserving of this award,” said Jake Franke, team coordinator. “Ryan is one of only 10 students to earn this honor and I am proud he received this great recognition.”

The 2011 Texas A&M team members include Ryan Smoes, a junior agricultural business major from Hamilton, Mich,; Cody Marburger, a junior animal science major from Round Top; Marty Gifford, a junior animal science and agricultural education double major from Powell, Wyom.; Erich Schatte, a junior animal science major from Giddings; John Mayer, a junior animal science major from Round Top; Canaan Driebrodt, a junior animal science major from Zorn; Brad Brundage, a junior animal science major from Princeton, Mo.; T.J. Skinner, a junior animal science major from Liberal, Kan.; Lance Bauer, a senior animal science major from Kerrville; C.J. Mabry, a senior animal science major from Port Lavaca; Mike Helle, a senior animal science major from Edinburg; Caleb Boardman, a junior agriculture business major from Frannie, Wyom.; Jacob Shaw, an agronomy major from Smyer; Wes Regmund, a senior ag business major from Llano; Bethanie Yeaman, a senior agricultural communications major from Rocksprings; Cody Trimble, a junior agricultural communications major from Knox City.

The team is coached by Cody Sloan and Jacob Thorne.

Earlier this year, the team defeated their competition winning first place at the National Western Stock Show and the San Antonio Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest this spring and at the Mid-American Classic Livestock Judging Contest in September. The Livestock Judging Team won second place at each the Tulsa State Fair Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest on Oct. 8, the State Fair Collegiate Livestock Judging Contest on Oct. 10 and the American Royal Intercollegiate Livestock Judging Contest on Oct. 29.

“I am extremely proud of our livestock judging team’s performance throughout the entire year. Through hard work, determination and a relentless work ethic we won three national contests and were reserve at the others,” Franke said. “The thing I am most proud of is being approached by other coaches, students and teams who complimented our team members and program on being professional and respectful at the contests this season. They are, without a doubt, the most upstanding, first class group of students that competed this season, and I am proud to have them in our program, representing our department and university with integrity and class.”

Looking ahead, Franke said the next team will start practicing after final exams are completed this fall.

“We are excited about the upcoming junior team.  The 2012 team, like the 2011 squad, is a very talented group of young men and women from all over the United States and they bring with them real-world livestock production experience and a competitive drive and spirit that is essential for success.  We are looking forward to a great year in 2012.”


For more information regarding news from the Department of Animal Science, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Texas A&M University, please contact Courtney Coufal at or (979) 845-1542.

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