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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Aggies hope to clinch national championship at Houston Rodeo

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The Texas A&M wool judging team will participate at the Houston Livestock Show beginning on March 15.

Every year, millions of people pack into NRG Stadium in cowboy boots, jeans and button-down shirts for the Houston Livestock Show.
Everyone has a purpose, whether to cheer on their favorite bull riders or go for Grand Champion in the livestock show. But behind the glitz and glamour of the rodeo, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo could make or break livestock judging teams from right here in Aggieland.
Beginning March 15, Aggies from the meat, wool and livestock judging teams will make the journey to Houston to compete at this year’s Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR). At stake are several individual awards, as well as national championships which help give representation to Texas A&M and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.
Faculty Coordinator Leslie Frenzel said HLSR is a huge milestone for the meat judging team.
“HLSR is the final competition of the spring competitive season,” Frenzel said. “The contest marks the progress of the spring semester and sets the bar for the fall semester.”
Weeks before the competition, students in the Department of Animal Science work vigorously to perfect their skills judging livestock such as wool, lamb, pork and beef as they compete against universities from across the country.
“From the outside, wool judging may not seem like a big deal, but in reality, my teammates and I have put in over 15 hours a week since August to learn how to judge,” animal science freshman Millennium Mayo said. “Every single person on my team wants to be able to bring home a national championship for Texas A&M.”
The HLSR meat judging competition includes beef, pork and lamb carcass classes, beef and pork cuts classes, beef, lamb and pork specifications, value-based pricing beef carcass class, and beef quality and yield grading. With all of this, Frenzel said the team is focused on not only winning, but also looking as professional as possible while representing A&M and the Animal Science Department.
“The students are determined, dedicated, hardworking, professional and always compete with the utmost integrity,” Frenzel said.
Coming into the competition having already won the National Western Stock Show Wool Judging contest, animal science sophomore Sarah Tisdel said winning in Houston will remain the team’s biggest goal until the 2020 National Championship is in their hands.
“Winning the National Western with not only my team, but individually, was truly a surreal experience,” Tisdel said. “Especially this being my first-year judging on the collegiate level, winning a contest of that caliber only pushes us harder to want to do it again.”
With their accomplishments in the back of their minds as they prepare to head to Houston, animal science freshman Landry Cunningham said the team’s success is thanks to each individual’s skills and the relationships they have formed as a team.
“We are a very strong team and each member contributes a unique strength which only makes us more competitive,” Cunningham said. “With any judging team, it’s all about getting out what you put in, and all of our coaches have done a great job of pushing us to our fullest potential. The takeaways I have gained from being on this team go far beyond just the wool lab.”

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