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March 2004

Release Date: March 26, 2004

Angelo State Team Earns Top Wool, Mohair Honors at Houston Livestock Show

Angelo State University's Wool and Mohair Judging Team sheared the competition at the 2004 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo by taking first place both in the mohair grading division with a perfect score and in the wool judging division.

In addition to their first-place team finishes, ASU students took 22 individual honors, including three firsts, four seconds and two thirds in the various competitions of the wool and mohair judging contests.

The team of Jamie Steen of Alpine, Katy Churchill of Ozona, Whitney Straw of Cotton Center and Erik West of San Angelo took first place in mohair grading, wool grading, placings and reasons, and overall wool judging. The team of Tyler Frey of Water Valley, Teresa Lovett of Crockett, Zach Holland of Mertzon and Thomas Epting of Sherman finished second in placings and reasons.

ASU set a new contest record at Houston in the mohair grading division by attaining a perfect score. The same team took second-, third- and seventh-place individual honors. That team also finished first, second and third individually in the wool judging division.

Best overall individual performance went to Steen who placed first in both wool grading and overall wool judging as well as second in mohair grading and fifth in placings and reasons. The team was coached by Dr. Mike Salisbury, ASU assistant professor of animal science and research scientist, and Joe Self, a graduate student in the ASU Agriculture Department.

"ASU may be a small university from West Texas," Salisbury said, "but our students have proven they can compete with those from the big schools, including the land-grant institutions."

At the Houston Livestock Show competing institutions included Texas A&M University, New Mexico State University, Kansas State University and Texas Tech University. ASU's Wool and Mohair Judging Teams in January competed in the National Livestock Show and Rodeo in Denver where they placed fourth. In February, the team took first, fourth, fifth and eighth places in the individual competitions at the San Antonio Livestock Exposition. Those competitions included ASU agriculture students Cassie Campbell of Matador and Cody McNeely of Early.

During the competitions, judging teams must grade 20 samples of mohair to determine how they would be marketed and then must examine 15 fleeces of wool to determine the grade, percentage yield, staple length, character and purity. Then they judge six classes of four wool fleeces and rank them according to quality and economic return. Next they must give a set of oral reasons to experts in the industry explaining why they ranked fleeces the way they did in a commercial category and a breed category.

Salisbury said, "Students on judging teams learn how to make accurate and precise decisions under pressure and how to defend their decision orally in front of industry leaders. The students who compete on a judging team will soon be leaders in the industry."

Team members, their parents, hometowns and individual finishes are:

Katy Churchill, freshman animal science major, Tony and Judy Churchill, Ozona, second-wool grading, second-overall wool grading, third-mohair grading, fourth-placings and reasons.

Thomas Epting, freshman animal science major, Larry and Jerri Ann Epting, Sherman, eighth-placings and reasons and 11th-overall wool judging.

Tyler Frey, freshman animal science major, Doug and Cathy Frey, Water Valley, second-placings and reasons, eighth-mohair grading and 16th-overall wool judging.

Zach Holland, freshman animal science major, Scott and Kelly Holland, Mertzon, 10th-placings and reasons and 16th-mohair grading.

Teresa Lovett, junior animal science major, Jack Don and Gary Lovett, Crockett, 15th-mohair grading.

Jamie Steen, junior animal business major, James and Susan Steen, Alpine, first-overall wool judging, first-wool grading, second-mohair grading and fifth-placings and reasons.

Whitney Straw, freshman animal science major, Ken and Sharla Straw, Cotton Center, seventh-mohair grading and ninth-placings and reasons.

Erik West, freshman animal science major, David and Pam West, San Angelo, first-placings and reasons, third-overall wool judging, 16th-wool grading and 20th-mohair grading.

Cassie Campbell, freshman animal science major, Douglas and Janie Campbell, Matador.

Cody McNeely, freshman animal science major, Early.