K-State Crops Team ends spring season on strong note
The Kansas State University Crops Team took second place in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture national crops contest held recently at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. The team also competed in the Iowa State Invitational contest at Ames, Iowa, in February and the Regional NACTA contest hosted at K-State in March.
At the national contest, a total of 19 teams competed, including 11 four-year and eight two-year programs. In the two-year division, Hutchinson Community College placed first.
The contest consists of four components: laboratory practical, agronomic exam, math practical and plant and seed identification. In the laboratory practical, competitors identify insects, diseases, crop products and equipment, plus determine crop growth stages, interpret pesticide labels or seed tags, name plant structures, 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; and weeds, insects and diseases. The math practical includes equipment calibration and various other agronomic calculations. Seed and plant identification requires contestants to learn more than 250 plant and seed samples.
Students competing on the K-State national team were Cameron Alderfer, Centralia, Kan.; Michael Poland, Chapman, Kan.; David Abel, Wichita, Kan.; Blaine Bogner, Mulvane, Kan.; and Trent Newell, Oskaloosa, Kan.—all seniors majoring in agronomy. The alternate was Hannah Anderson, Newton, Kan., a junior in agricultural education. Also competing in the regional events at Iowa and K-State were agronomy seniors Hannah Christen, Oregon, Ill., and Katie Martin, Glasco, Kan. Kevin Donnelly, professor of agronomy, served as coach for the team.
Top individual placings for the K-State team at the national contests were Cameron Alderfer, fifth overall and third in plant and seed identification; Michael Poland, eighth overall and second in ID; David Abel, 10th overall; and Blaine Bogner, fifth in exam. At the K-State contest, Poland was first overall and Alderfer was third, while at Iowa State, Alderfer was fourth and Poland was fifth.
K-State Research and Extension is a short name for the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service, a program designed to generate and distribute useful knowledge for the well-being of Kansans. Supported by county, state, federal and private funds, the program has county Extension offices, experiment fields, area Extension offices and regional research centers statewide. Its headquarters is on the K-State campus, Manhattan.