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Source: Joe Harner, 785-532-5580,
Photo available. Contact or 785-532-6415.
News release prepared by: Beth Bohn, 785-532-6415,

Monday, June 8, 2009


MANHATTAN -- The Kansas State University Quarter-Scale Tractor Team has won second place at the 12th annual International Quarter-Scale Tractor Competition sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, May 29-31, in Peoria, Ill.

For the competition, each student team designs, builds and demonstrates a utility or recreational pulling tractor. A panel of industry experts judged each design for innovation, maneuverability, sound level, serviceability, ergonomics, safety and manufacturability. Teams also participated in a performance demonstration made up of four tractor pulls.

The K-State team finished first in the written report category, first in sound for the quietest tractor, first in Campbell Scientific activities and fourth in oral report.

The team's faculty advisers include Ed Brokesh, instructor of biological and agricultural engineering; Pat Murphy, professor of agriculture and natural resources; Darrell Oard, research assistant in biological and agricultural engineering; and Lou Ann Claassen, senior administrative assistant in the department of biological and agricultural engineering.

"This is the 11th consecutive year this student-led team has finished in the top three in the competition, which includes seven first-place finishes. This is a reflection of the commitment of the quality education afforded students through the numerous learning opportunities offered at K-State," said Joe Harner, interim head of the department of agricultural and biological engineering at K-State. "This accomplishment shows the commitment of our faculty and staff to ensure excellence in the classroom, and it is a reflection of our students' abilities to transform and utilize knowledge beyond the classroom."

Members of the 2009 Quarter-Scale Tractor Team members attending the Peoria event included:

Clay Reinecke, senior in biological and agricultural engineering, Centralia; Douglas Grollmes, junior in biological and agricultural engineering, and Matthew Grollmes, senior in biological and agricultural engineering, both from Circleville; Byron Yeager, sophomore in biological systems engineering, Emporia; Jared Selland, senior in biological and agricultural engineering, Everest; Josh Ogle, sophomore in biological and agricultural engineering, Manhattan; David Becker, junior in biological and agricultural engineering, Melvern; Nick Depenbusch, junior in biological systems engineering, Nashville.

Jared Unrau, senior in agricultural technology management, Newton; Jonathan Zeller, junior in biological engineering systems, Overbrook; Mark Neeland, senior in biological and agricultural systems engineering, Pawnee Rock; Brett McClain, sophomore in biological systems engineering, Phillipsburg; Dan Martin, junior in biological and agricultural engineering, Pittsburg; Benjamin Ross, senior in biological and agricultural engineering, Topeka; Michael Berggren, junior in biological systems, Tribune.

From out of state: Denton Haag, sophomore in agricultural technology management, Bartley, Neb.

Corporate sponsors of the competition include AGCO, Bridgestone/Firestone, Briggs and Stratton, Case, Caterpillar, Deere and Company, Kubota, New Holland and SolidWorks. Additional support was provided by Campbell Scientific Inc., Central City Scale, Claas Omaha, igus Inc., Kelly Sauder Rupiper Equipment, Kentucky Corn Growers Association, MacDon Industries, Miller Electric Manufacturing, Star Equipment and Sukup Manufacturing.

The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers is a professional and technical organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food and biological systems. The society has 9,000 members from more than 100 countries.