Students from the University of Minnesota Crookston headed for Texas ready for completion
at the annual National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference in early April and their preparation paid off. The NACTA Team won sweepstakes in the four-year college division and that win included a number of first place finishes.
Twenty-nine students went to the competition held this year at Texas Tech, Lubbock, Texas, ready to compete in eleven contests in ag business, ag communication, ag computers, crops, dairy judging, horse judging, meat judging, knowledge bowl, livestock judging, livestock management, and soils.
First place finishes included the following teams:
Ag Business Team, coached by Margot Rudstrom and Chuck Lariviere, included Katie Hagen, junior, ag business major from Epping, N.D., Kayla Erickson, senior, ag education and ag business double major from Scandia, Minn.; Matt Green, senior, agronomy, ag business, and ag systems management triple major from Greenbush, Minn.; and Dustin Smith, who took second place individual honors is a senior, ag business and agronomy double major from Browerville, Minn.;
Ag Computers Team, coached by Christo Robberts, Amanda Crook, senior, agronomy and ag business major from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada, took first-place individual; Brian Oachs, junior, ag business and agronomy double major from Herman, Minn.; Cedric Citrowske, second-place individual, freshman, ag systems management major from Canby, Minn.; and Drew Underdahl, senior, ag business major from Zumbro Falls, Minn.
Meat Judging Team, coached by Jeremy Breiland,
Derek Suhonen, sophomore, ag systems management and animal science double major from Wright, Minn.; Justin Goodroad, first-place individual, a sophomore, animal science and ag education double major from Lindstrom, Minn.; Dustin Wiese, second-place individual, a senior, animal science major from Pequot Lakes, Minn.; and Katie Hagen, junior, ag business major from Epping, N.D.
Teams in livestock management and dairy judging finished in second-place; teams in ag
communication and knowledge bowl finished in third; and the team in crops judging finished in fourth place.
Members of the NACTA Team include Missy Geiszler, junior, agronomy major from Mayer, Minn.; Haley Weleski, junior, communication major from Lancaster, Minn.; Katie Hagen, junior, ag business major from Epping, N.D.; Dustin Smith, senior, ag business and agronomy double major from Browerville, Minn.; Rebekah Landmark, freshman, animal science major from Montevideo, Minn.; Matt Green, senior, agronomy, ag business, and ag systems management triple major from Greenbush, Minn.; Sarah Morris, senior, animal science major from Ramsey, Minn.; Kayla Erickson, senior, ag education and ag business double major from Scandia, Minn.; Rochelle Herzog, sophomore, animal science major from Randall, Minn.; Marilyn Lewis, freshman, animal science and ag systems management double major from Bemidji, Minn.; Amanda Guimont, freshman, ag business major from Anoka, Minn.; Rachel Grant, freshman, animal science major from Westminster, Md.; Brian Oachs, junior, ag business and agronomy double major from Herman, Minn.; Austin Moffett, senior, agronomy major from Manvel, N.D.; Cedric Citrowske, freshman, ag systems management major from Canby, Minn.; Travis Lund, senior, agronomy major from Brandon, Minn.; Lucas Kelley, senior, agronomy major from Minto, N.D.; Krista Dale, senior, equine science major from Sartell, Minn.; Amberly Pesall, freshman, ag business and equine science double major from New Brighton, Minn.; Justin Goodroad, sophomore, animal science and ag education double major from Lindstrom, Minn.; Nathan Renard, senior, agronomy major from Page, N.D.; Lindsey Homelvig, senior, agronomy major from Devils Lake, N.D.; Ben Wuebkers, senior, animal science major from Freeport, Minn.; Brandon Reierson, junior, agronomy major from Climax, Minn.; Amanda Crook, senior, agronomy and ag business major from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada; Bryce Gillie, senior, agronomy major from Hallock, Minn.; Drew Underdahl, senior, ag business major from Zumbro Falls, Minn.; Derek Suhonen, sophomore, ag systems management and animal science double major from Wright, Minn.; and Dustin Wiese, senior, animal science major from Pequot Lakes, Minn.
Students began preparing for the contests in November, and they are allowed to compete only one time per contest with the exception of soils which allows a student to compete twice. The contests are hands-on and the judging contests, like those in crops, dairy, and livestock, require the student to both rank and provide reasons for their decisions. The NACTA Team raises its own funding in order to participate in the competition.
As part of the trip to the judging conference, students take advantage of learning opportunities afforded by the location. This year students visited Bayer FiberMax, a cotton and genetics research facility; a custom feedlot operation; the National Ranching Heritage Center; and a tour of a local vineyard and winery.
Included in some of the competition were teams from Kansas State University, Cal Poly, Iowa State University, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Texas A&M, Oregon State University, Purdue University, and many others. The last time the NACTA Team from the U of M Crookston took sweepstakes was in 2010. The next NACTA Judging Conference will take place in Maryville, Missouri, in spring 2014.
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 27 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and 39 concentrations on campus--as well as 10 degrees online--in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology. With an enrollment of 1,800 undergraduates from 25 countries and 40 states, 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 photos:
At top, right, NACTA Team, left to right starting at the bottom: Missy Geiszler, Haley Weleski, Katie Hagen, Dustin Smith, Brenda Miller, Terrill Bradford, Rebekah Landmark, Matt Green, Sarah Morris, Kayla Erickson, Rochelle Herzog, Marilyn Lewis, Amanda Guimont, Margot Rudstrom, Rachel Grant, Brian Oachs, Austin Moffett, Cedric Citrowske, Travis Lund, Lucas Kelley, Krista Dale, Amberly Pesall, Justin Goodroad, Nathan Renard, Lindsey Homelvig, Ben Wuebkers, Brandon Reierson, Amanda Crook, Bryce Gillie, Drew Underdahl, Derek Suhonen, Dustin Wiese, and Kristie Walker.
Top, left, Ag Business Team, bottom to top - Katie Hagen, Matt Green, Kayla Erickson,and Dustin Smith
Middle, left, Ag Computers Team, front row - Drew Underdahl, Amanda Crook. Back row, Cedric Citrowske, and Brian Oachs.
Bottom, right, Meat Judging Team, bottom to Top - Katie Hagen, Dustin Wiese, Derek Suhonen, and Justin Goodroad.
Contact: Terrill Bradford, instructor, animal science, 218-281-8108 (email@example.com); Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director, communications, 218-281-8432 (firstname.lastname@example.org)