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K-State Today

November 5, 2012

Spring Hill Ag issues team, coached by K-State Olathe, places in nation's top 16

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

The Spring Hill High School Agricultural Issues team placed in the top 16 teams nationwide at the National FFA Organization national competition recently in Indianapolis, Ind. The team was coached by Micheal Strohschein, Kansas State University Olathe director of K-12 science education partnerships.

The team won the Kansas Ag Issues/FFA competition in Manhattan in May to advance to nationals.

Student team members -- all current or former Spring Hill High School students -- include: Naoma Forkell, Sarah Hammond, Taylor Harrison, Rebecca Johnson, Kristen Murray and Krysteena Redman. Forkell, freshman in microbiology; Harrison, freshman in animal sciences and industry; and Murray, freshman in feed science and management, attend Kansas State University's Manhattan campus. Johnson is a freshman and Hammond and Redman are juniors, all at Spring Hill High School.

The national-qualifying team is the fifth that Strohschein has taught and/or coached and the third to advance to nationals. He brings 10 years of educational and program management experience to K-State Olathe, having also taught in the Spring Hill school district for six years.

"The K-12 science education programs at K-State Olathe are designed to support the six Johnson County public school districts in collaboratively developing, coordinating and participating in educational programs in animal health and food safety and security," Strohschein said. "This Ag Issues team brought it all together with this competition, working so hard for this outstanding national placement."

The team delivered an oral presentation and defense on how immigration policies affect the agriculture industry and workforce in the United States. The students spent more than 200 hours preparing their oral presentation and defense, as well as a written presentation. They traveled to Topeka, Lawrence and to several local companies and organizations for nine practice presentations, including the Kansas Livestock Association and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

For more information about K-State Olathe K-12 science education partnerships, visit http://olathe.k-state.edu/academic-initiatives/k-12.html or contact Strohschein at 913-307-7342 or mistroh@k-state.edu. To learn more about Spring Hill High School, contact Christine Splichal at 913-592-7258 or splichalc@usd230.org. More information about FFA/Ag Issues in Kansas is available at http://ksffafoundation.org.

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