Poth native helps Texas Tech judging team win at nationals
PHOTO COURTESY OF TEXAS TECH UNIVERSITY
Texas Tech Livestock Judging Team: (back, from left) Jordan Clem, Markus Miller, Clay Morrison, Nathan Pond, Nathan Reeves, Joel Riedel, Logan Pritchett, Coach Bryan Bernhard, (front) Kody Lucherk, Brady Ragland, Tanner Kieschnick, Katie Rose McCullough, Loni Woolley, Brandi Capps, Clayton Gardner, and Clay Burson. Ryan Rathmann also coaches the team.
Kody Lucherk, a Texas Tech University senior from Poth, is a member of the livestock judging team that won the national title at the 65th National Barrow Show. The Texas Tech University livestock judging team won its first contest of the fall by 32 points Sept. 13 in Austin, Minn. The contest, which consisted of swine evaluation only, is recognized by industry leaders as the premier swine-judging event in the nation.
Other teams finishing in the top five overall included Purdue, Oklahoma State University, the University of Illinois, and Iowa State University. In the reasons division, the Red Raiders also finished first with a score of 930 points -- five points ahead of Purdue.
“This is the first time that Texas Tech has won the National Barrow Show in its long history. I am proud of these students’ performance and the manner of integrity in which they represent their university,” said the team’s coach, Ryan Rathmann, an assistant professor in the Department of Animal and Food Sciences.
Texas Tech boasted three of the top 10 individuals. Brandi Capps of Dewey, Okla., was fourth-high individual overall with a score of 614. Her teammate, Clay Burson of Abilene, also posted a score of 614 but finished sixth overall. Logan Pritchett of Kingfisher, Okla., finished ninth.
Other team members include Jordon Clem of New Home, Clayton Gardner of Estancia, N.M., Tanner Kieschnick of Vernon, Katie Rose McCullough of Castle Rock, Colo., Clay Morrison of Midland, Nathan Pond of Wolfforth, Brady Ragland of Wolfforth, Nathan Reeves of League City, Joel Riedel of Arroyo Grande, Calif., Markus Miller of Abernathy, and Loni Woolley of Grandview.
“They are an exceptional group that consistently excels both in and out of the classroom,” Rathmann said. “In addition to their achievements, the students on the team gained invaluable exposure to progressive swine production systems across the Midwest and extended their network of contacts in the swine industry.”
Along with Rathmann, the team is coached by graduate student Bryan Bernhard.
The team will continue to contend at contests across the United States this fall before competing for the national championship Nov. 14, at the International Livestock Exposition in Louisville, Ky.