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Source: Kevin Donnelly, 785-532-7214, kjd@k-state.edu
Photos available. Contact media@k-state.edu or 785-532-2535.
News release prepared by: Steve Watson, 785-532-7105, swatson@k-state.edu

Friday, April 23, 2010

K-STATE CROPS TEAM TAKES FIRST PLACE IN NATIONAL CONTEST

MANHATTAN -- The Kansas State University Crops Team took first place in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture national crops contest April 16 at Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla.

A total of 22 teams competed, 13 in the four-year division and nine in the two-year division. The K-State team also took home four of the top five individual placings.

It is the second straight title in the contest for the K-State team, and the team's ninth title in the last 12 years, according to Kevin Donnelly, team coach and a K-State professor of agronomy.

The contest has four components: laboratory practical, agronomic exam, math practical, and plant and seed identification. The K-State team placed first in the laboratory, math and identification components, and second in the exam.

In the laboratory practical, competitors identify insects, diseases, fertilizers, crop products, plant parts and equipment, plus determine crop growth stages, interpret pesticide labels or seed tags, evaluate crop production problems, and describe soil properties. The agronomic exam evaluated knowledge of crop production and management, crop physiology and breeding, soil properties, soil fertility, tillage, crop harvesting and storage, weeds, insects and diseases. The math practical includes equipment calibration and other various other agronomic calculations. Seed and plant identification requires contestants to learn about more than 250 plant and seed samples.

Students, all agronomy majors unless otherwise noted, competing at the competition and their top individual placings include:

Eric Preston, senior, Columbus, first place overall and first in math and second in agronomic exam; Chad Huffman, a junior in agricultural economics, Cunningham, was an alternate; Aaron Widmar, junior, Franklin, fifth overall and second in identification; Ryan Cates, senior, Jewell, fourth overall and first in identification; Jenae Skelton, senior, Larned, ninth overall and fifth in math; Nicole Rezac, senior, Onaga, 10th overall and second in lab practical; and David Krehbiel, senior, Pratt, eighth overall and fifth in identification.

From out of state: Nathan Keep, senior, Elm Creek, Neb., second overall, first in lab practical and third in identifications.