Judging Teams in the News

West Texas A&M University's Department of Agriculture has a long history of developing student success through various competitive judging teams.  While each team has a unique focus on developing specific skills, they all provide valuable professional training in critical-thinking, decision-making and communication.

Horse Judging Team

Wins BIG 2019/2020

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.

2020 Horse Judging Team Photo2020 WTAMU Team: 1st APHA World, 1st Reining Championship, 2nd AQHA World Championship

"WT’s team was the most successful horse judging team in the world this year,”
said coach John Pipkin, Equine Industry Program Director and Regent Professor of Animal Science. 

Not just this year: The team is historically successful, having won 125 champion and reserve champion titles since 1994. They’ve added to that total again with recent Championship and Reserve Championship titles. The team won the Reining National Championship (NRHA) and American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) and earned Reserve Champion at the American Quarter Horse Association contest. The team earned a World Championship at the American Paint Horse Association World Championship collegiate contest.

“Our team members are extremely talented and, more importantly, they were extremely diligent in their efforts to prepare themselves and support their fellow teammates,” Pipkin said. “They are exceptional in so many ways including overcoming all the challenges associated with COVID-19 restrictions and threats. Their resilience and team work are truly unmatched.”

Photo: Dr. John Pipkin (Head Coach), Maggie Murphy (Coach), Josh Worten, Reilly Dhaliwal, Sierra Stammen, Hannah McLochlin, Lacy Petty, Elena Chapa, Mollie Green, Taylor Scheulen, Baily Summers (Assistant Coach), Dr. Lance Kieth (Department Head)

 Click to read more on the story

2021; WTAMU Horse Judging Team Excels at Reined Cow Horse Contest

 2021 WTAMU Team Champions

Read More on the February contest winners!


Ranch Horse Team

2020-2021 Team Gears up for Spring

This Spring, the Ranch Horse Team will be competing in the D1 Collegiate Division at the Stock Horse of Texas shows. Competitions will take place on March 5-7 in Bryan College Station; April 9-11 in Lubbock at Texas Tech University; and at the National Ranch and Stock Horse Alliance Collegiate Championships April 23-25 in Lubbock.

2021SP Ranch Horse Team

Back Row, L-R: Dr. Lance Baker, Coach; Bryson Bassinger, So. Animal Science, Sanger; Jadin Vogler, Jr. Equine Industry and Business, Firth, NE; Ilda Corrales, Fr. Animal Science, Dimmitt; Aleathia Rakowitz, So. Equine Industry and Business, Alvin; Wyatt Dushay. Sr. Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science, Ft. Stockton.

Front Row, L-R Lauren Waymire, Sr. Equine and Industry Business, Douglas County, CO; Tess Gore, Jr. Ag. Media & Communications, Crawford, CO; Lacy Grace Petty, Sr. Ag. Media & Communication, Adrian; Michaela Corn, Sr. Marketing, Carlsbad, NM.

Go Buffs!

Livestock Judging

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 Preston Lawrence at 806-651-2698.

WT Meat Animal Evaluation Team

The MeatMeats Animal Evaluation Photo Animal Evaluation Team is for livestock and meat judging students interested in improving their understanding livestock composition relative to the value of the live animal and the carcass. The National Meat Animal Evaluation contest is comprised of four different categories: Market animal evaluation, Breeding animal evaluation, Meat evaluation and Communications. The contest challenges students to understand the economic value of market livestock and carcasses, while also understanding EPD’s and the importance of breeding animals to the industry. The students portray knowledge learned about meat animal and carcass evaluation and current market issues during a team activity in the communications division. WT students on the meat animal evaluation team would train to compete in a vigorous multi-day contest held each spring to vie for the National Championship in Meat Animal Evaluation.

For further information, contact Dr. Loni Lucherk at or (806) 651-3581.

WT Meats Judging Team

2020 Meat Judging Team Photo

The Meat Judging Team is a competitive event for students interested in the meat industry. Students on the meat judging team can be from any undergraduate major and are usually sophomores and juniors.

Students evaluate beef, pork and lamb carcasses and wholesale cuts at many of the nation’s largest meat processing facilities, providing them an in-depth look at the meat industry while preparing them for a future career in the industry.

In the spring, the team competes at national meat judging contests including the National Western in Greeley, CO; the Southwestern Livestock Exposition in Fort Worth, TX; and the Houston Livestock Show in Houston, TX. In the fall, the team competes in the Eastern National in Wyalusing, PA; American Royal in Omaha, NE; the Cargill High Plains in Friona, TX; and the International in Dakota City, NE.

For further information, contact Dr. Loni Lucherk at or (806) 651-3581.




WT Meat Science Quiz Bowl Team - Wins 2020 National Championship!

The Meat Science Quiz Bowl team is for undergraduate students interested in expanding their knowledge of meat science to compete in the American Meat Science Association (AMSA) Meat Science Quiz Bowl competition. The quiz bowl is similar to Jeopardy! and can cover any aspect of meat science. Questions have been asked from a wide range of resources that can include topics such as meat industry history, muscle structure and function, food safety regulations, microbiology, meat grading, fabrication and merchandising, meat marketing, processing, packaging, sensory attributes of meat, growth and development of meat animals, chemistry and color, by products, exotic meat animals, labeling, and current events. The Meat Science Quiz Bowl competition is every June in conjunction with the AMSA Reciprocal Meat Conference (RMC). The students on the team will also have the chance to interact with industry and academic professionals while improving their knowledge of meat science in scientific sessions at RMC. The WT Meat Science Quiz Bowl team won their first National Championship in 2020.

For further information, contact Dr. Loni Lucherk at or (806) 651-3581.

Wins 2020 National Championship! (Story)


August 1-2, 2020, the WTAMU Meat Science Team won their first-ever national championship in the American Meat Science Association's Undergraduate Meat Science Quiz Bowl. Congratulations Buffs!


Soil and Crop Judging

The Soil and Crop Judging 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.

For more information, contact Brock Blaser at (806) 651-2555.

Soil Judging Photo

Happy State Bank Academic & Research Building, Suite 262
WTAMU Box 60872, Canyon, TX  79016