U of M, Crookston NACTA Team Finds Continued Success at National Judging Competition; Named Four-Year College Division Champions for 2010

NACTA Trophy presentation 8417.jpgContinuing their long-standing reputation for success at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference, the University of Minnesota, Crookston won the four-year college division competition for 2010. The U of M, Crookston came out on top in a division that had 22 colleges and universities competing; the last time the Crookston Campus took home the honor was in 2009. Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla., hosted the conference on April 15-17.

Forty students from the Crookston Campus, representing a cross section of majors, participated in the eight contests making up the competition: Agricultural Computers, Crops, Dairy, Horse, Horticulture, Ag Knowledge Bowl, General Livestock and Soils. Two seniors, BillieJo Armbrust, Forest River, N.D., and Emily Espersen, Brainerd, Minn., coordinated the NACTA team by organizing fundraisers and planning the trip to Oklahoma to compete. Seniors Bradley Kappes, Borup, Minn., and Tony Dank, Sartell, Minn., were responsible for the annual car washes by NACTA team members to raise money for the trip.

One of the coaches for the team, Rob Proulx, a lecturer in the Agriculture Department, praised the students for their hard work and dedication at a reception for the team held Monday, April 19. "Our students can stand shoulder to shoulder with any agriculture student from across the country," Proulx said. "We can compete with the best."

Results of the NACTA competition include:

Computer Applications, 1st place team:  Kristin (Fjosee) Mio, Olympia, Wash., 1st place individual; Kari Olson, 2nd place individual, Lancaster, Minn.; Armbrust , 4th individual;  and Nicole Bauer, Breezy Point, Minn.

Quiz Bowl, 3rd place team: Isaiah Ulmer, Fullerton, N.D.; Espersen, Jacob Gerber, Elbow Lake, MInn.; Kendra Peterson, Sisseton, S.D.; and Ana Gustafson, Puposky, Minn.

Crops 3rd place team: Matt Coffman, Wheaton, Minn.; Brandin Solie, Fertile, Minn.; Craig Moen, Stephen, MInn.; and Cole Dimmler, Crary, N.D. Individual Participants: Jake Heggedal, Badger, Minn.; and Mark Riepe, Perham, Minn.

Dairy Judging: The team was 3rd place overall team; 2nd place ,Holstein Breed; 3rd place, Brown Swiss Breed; 3rd place, Jersey Breed; 3rd place, oral reasons; and 3rd place. genetic hybrids. Marissa McWilliam, Winger, Minn., 2nd place individual; Brown Swiss Breed; Mindy Nieuwboer , Kenneth, Minn.,2nd place individual;  Jersey breed; Tommy Borgerding, Belgrade, MInn., 3rd place individual; Brown Swiss breed; and Jacquie Schlangen, Belgrade, Minn.

Horse Judging, 3rd place team: Nick Pease, Trimont, Minn.; Peterson, Kari Buse, St. James, MInn.;  Megan Meyer, Wyoming, Minn.

Ag Business, 1st place team: Kappes, 2nd place individual; Brianna Kaschmitter, Sauk Rapids, Minn., 4th place individual; Amanda McNamee, Mahnomen, Minn.; and  Jacob Gerber, Elbow Lake, Minn. Individual Participants: Dank and Alysia Osowski, Grafton, N.D.

Livestock Judging Participants: Katie Schnneider, Delano, Minn.; Melinda Baszczynski, Earlham, Iowa; and Kristina Selzler, Rising Fawn, Ga.

Soils Team Participants: Skyler Holzbauer,  Breckenridge, Minn.; Jayden Rollness, Langdon, N.D.; Stephen Whalen, Oklee, Minn.; and Blake Smith, Mentor, Minn.

The computer application team was coached by Christo Robberts, instructor in the Business Department, and the livestock team was coached by Crystal Starr, a senior majoring in animal science from Bisbee, N.D. Other coaches were faculty in the Agriculture and Natural Resources Department including Lyle Westrom, ADawn Melbye, Rob Proulx, Margot Rudstrom, Henry Wilson, and Terrill Bradford. 

NACTA team members include:

Isaiah Ulmer, junior, Fullerton, N.D.; Emily Espersen, senior, Brainerd, Minn.; Jacob Gerber, senior, Elbow Lake, Minn.; Kendra Peterson, freshman, Sisseton, S.D.; Ana Gustafson, freshman, Puposky, Minn.; BillieJo Armbrust, senior, Forest River, N.D.; Kari Olson, junior, Lancaster, Minn.; Kristin (Fjosse) Mio, senior, Olympia, Washington; Nicole Bauer, sophomore, Breezy Point, Minn.; Matt Coffman, senior, Wheaton, Minn.; Brandin Solie, senior, Fertile, Minn.; Craig Moen, junior, Stephen, Minn.; Cole Dimmler, senior, Crary, N.D.; Jakob Heggedal, junior, Badger, Minn.; Mark Riepe, junior, Perham, Minn.; Marissa McWilliam, sophomore, Winger, MInn.; Mindy Nieuwboer, senior, Kenneth, Minn.; Tommy Borgerding, sophomore, Belgrade, Minn.; Jacquie Schlangen, senior, Belgrade, Minn.; Nick Pease, senior, Trimont, Minn.; Kari Buse, junior, St. James, Minn.; Megan Meyer, sophomore, Wyoming, Minn.; Bradley Kappes, senior, Borup, Minn.; Brianna Kaschmitter, senior, Sauk Rapids, Minn.; Amanda McNamee, senior, Mahnomen, Minn.; Tony Dank, senior, Sartell, Minn.; Alysia Osowski, junior, Grafton, N.D.; Katie Schneider, junior, Delano, Minn.; Melinda Baszczynski, senior, Earlham, Iowa; Kristina Selzer, sophomore, Rising Fawn, Ga.; Skyler Holzbauer, junior, Breckenridge, Minn.; Jayden Rollness, sophomore, Langdon, N.D.; Stephen Whalen, junior, Oklee, Minn.; Blake Smith, senior, Mentor, Minn.

NACTA is dedicated to advancing the scholarship of teaching and learning in the agricultural, environmental, natural, and life sciences. NACTA competitions have been held since 1957 and involve knowledge and skills contests covering various agricultural topics. The competition is rigorous, including college and university students from all across the nation. To learn more, visit www.nactateachers.org.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers more than 25 bachelor's degree programs and 50 concentrations, including several online degrees, in agriculture and natural resources; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,300 undergraduates, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit www.umcrookston.edu.

In the photo (l to r): BillieJo Armbrust, Chancellor Charles H. Casey, Emily Espersen, and Ron Del Vecchio, Ph.D., during a reception held for the NACTA students on Monday, April 19, 2010. 

Contact: Ron Del Vecchio, head, Agriculture and Natural Resources Dept, 218-281-8109 (delve004@umn.edu); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu)