West Texas A&M University has a reputation of having one of the successful Horse Judging Teams in the country. WTAMU Horse Judging Teams has won 54 National, World, and Reserve Champion Team titles and 52 Individual Titles for a total of 106 champion or reserve championship titles.
Dr. John Pipkin, head coach of the horse judging team, has been at WTAMU since 1992. He is a carded judge for various associations, including AQHA, APHA, NRHA, NSBA, NRCHA, and WCHA. Pipkin is a Regents Professor of Animal Science at WTAMU and teaches classes in Selection and Evaluation of Horses.
Prospective team members enroll in the Horse Evaluation class offered in the spring semester, which includes a spring trip to several major trainers' facilities. During the summer, the team members train and travel to the AQHYA World Show in early August for practice. Before classes begin, the team takes a trip for more exposure to judging. The WTAMU Horse Judging Team practices on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays in the fall. The team competes in three or more major contests, beginning in September.
The All-American Quarter Horse Congress is a major contest for the team and is held in Columbus, Ohio during the month of October. The AQHA World Championship in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is in the month of November. The NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City has held a contest in the late November or early December. WTAMU has won first or second place in all these contests numerous times. For more information contact Dr. John Pipkin at (806) 651-2557.
Livestock Judging offers students a unique opportunity to not only learn about livestock evaluation, but also learn about the entire livestock industry. Young people get the chance to meet the leaders in every given aspect of livestock production and see much of the country during the judging season. In addition to evaluating cattle, swine, sheep, and horses, the team also learns the production schemes behind these segments of the livestock industry. For more information contact Dr. Kevin Williams at (806) 651-2505 or Dr. David Lust at (806) 651-2551.
The Meats Judging Team competes for awards and scholarships at national contests. Students evaluate beef, lamb, and pork carcasses and wholesale cuts at many of the nation's largest meat processing facilities, providing them an in-depth look at the meat industry. Employers actively seek graduates with this valuable experience and training. Team members are selected from interested students during their sophomore or junior year. For further information contact Dr. Ty Lawrence at (806) 651-2560.
The Crop Team identifies economically important crops, weeds, insects, diseases, agronomic equipment and supplies, evaluates quality, and solves related mathematical problems. The Soils Team evaluates soil morphology and site characteristics, and uses this information to determine taxonomic classification and various land use interpretations. Participation on these teams is highly regarded by many agronomic employers, particularly those in the seed or consulting industries. These teams compete in regional and national events sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy and the National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture. Contact Brock Blaser at (806) 651-2555.