WTAMU judging teams provide students a diversified and challenging experience. Team members learn problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, and communication skills; make valuable industry contacts, and are exposed to employment opportunities. Previous judging experience is not required to participate.
West Texas A&M University has a reputation of having one of the best Horse Judging Teams in the country. As a Division II school in the Senior College Division, WTAMU competes with all Division I schools, including Texas A&M, Oklahoma State University, Purdue University, Texas Tech University, Colorado State University, Kansas State University, New Mexico State University, and many others. WTAMU Horse Judging Team has won 31 National, World, and Reserve Champion Team titles and 30 Individual Titles since 1994.
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, and NRCHA. Dr. Pipkin is a Professor of Animal Science at WTAMU and teaches classes such as Horse Evaluation, Reproductive Physiology, and Endocrinology.
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 travel to the AQHYA World Show in Ft. Worth, Texas in early August for a few days of practice. The week before classes begin, the team takes one final trip around the Texas and Oklahoma areas for more exposure to judging. Then, when the fall semester begins, everything begins rolling. The WTAMU Horse Judging Team practices on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The team competes in three major contests, beginning in October.
The All-American Quarter Horse Congress is the first contest for the team. At this contest, the team has won first or second place consecutively. It is held in Columbus, Ohio during the month of October. This is the longest of the three contest trips, but the team gets wonderful practice time in prior to the actual contest day. Next is the AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. This contest is in the month of November, right before Thanksgiving break. Following the World Show, the final contest is the NRHA Futurity in Oklahoma City. The Futurity is held during the first week of December. 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.
Soil and Crop Judging
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 Dr. Clay Robinson for more information at (806) 651-2553 or Brock Blaser at (806) 651-2555.