In The Field - March 2020

D4 IN THE FIELD Crop judging helps students prepare for future THE NORTH PLATTE TELEGRAPH SUNDAY, MARCH 15, 2020


The Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture crops judging team won a regional contest March 7 in Curtis. The team was at the top of the two-year- schools division and Kansas State University won the four-year-school division. Twelve schools competed in the two di- visions with eight teams in the four-year and four teams in the two-year. “We had teams from as far away as Wisconsin to Texas,” said Brad Ramsdale, associate pro- fessor of agronomy at NCTA. “The greatest ben- efit for the students in this competition is that it’s a real-world-based knoweldge examination.” He said the contest is designed after the knowl- edge that’s needed to become a certified crop adviser. Ramsdale said the tests are intense and are divided up into four parts: agronomic quiz, math practical, lab prac- tical, and plant and seed identification. Levi Morris, a student at Oklahoma Panhandle State University, said the competition is beneficial for him. “I graduate at the end of this year, so I’m try- ing to cram it all before I leave,” Morris said. “If I can leave here and pass the certified crop adviser test, I’d like to become a professional agronomist and scout fields locally in southeastern Colorado and on the family farm there.” Dillon Roesch, also of OPSU, said the com- petition is “all about bettering ourselves to be professional agronomists in the future.” “No. 1, it’s really neat to get to compete against all these different col- leges and see who knows the most,” Roesch said. “I would really like to be a crop consultant, go out and help farmers figure out their inputs, what seeds they’re going to use, how they’re going to manage their farm for a (certain) year.” Ramsdale said he

Job Vigil / The North Platte Telegraph Tyler Aschenbrenner, right, Connor Nolan and Chase Callahan , members of the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture crops judging team, look over the answers to the questions in the plant identification section at a regional competition hosted by NCTA March 7. The NCTA team took first place in the two-year-college division.

Ramsdale said about 85 students participated in the competition. Results: Two-year team: First — NCTA, Ethan Aschenbrenner, Chase Callahan, Tyler Aschenbrenner, Amy Lammers. Second — Hutchinson Community College (Kansas). Third — Northeast Community College. Two-year individ- ual: First — Ethan Aschenbrenner, NCTA; Second — Chase Callahan, NCTA; Third — Spencer Came, Hutchinson CC; Fourth — Josie Harris, Hutchinson CC; Fifth — Mason Nordhues, Northeast. Four-year team: First — Kansas State University. Second — Iowa State University. Third — University of Nebraska- Lincoln. Four-year individual: First — Nate Dick, Kansas State. Second — Shannon Breja, Iowa State. Third — Luke Ryan, Kansas State. Fourth — Ben Kolbe, Iowa State. Fifth — Korbin Kudera, University of Nebraska.

hears positive feedback from students about the competition. “I always get com- ments from my students that when they go out on internship that this ex- perience really benefited them,” Ramsdale said. Kent McKinnis, agronomy professor at Hutchinson Community College in Kansas, said the various competitions are fun as well. “We were at Panhandle State University in Oklahoma a few weeks ago and the students get the chance to come to a totally different coun- try here in western Nebraska,” McKinnis said. “The crops change a little bit and the envi- ronment changes. The questions are a little dif- ferent here in Nebraska, such as more questions about irrigation and some of those row crops.” In Oklahoma, McKinnis said, the ques- tions are more about cotton as well as other row crops.

Job Vigil / The North Platte Telegraph Levi Morris, left, and Dillon Roesch, members of the Oklahoma Panhandle State University crops judging team, examine their answers after the competition March 7 in Curtis at the Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture.

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