HAYS, KS -- A very inexperienced but game Fort Hays State University Crop Judging Team wrapped up it's season in April with good showings at the North American Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) contest in Norfolk, NE.
" The team had little previous experience and I was pleased with their efforts," said Dr. Robert Stephenson, associate professor of agriculture and team coach.
The team also competed in March in Manhattan at the Kansas Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture regional contest, a warm-up for the national event.
Students participating in the KACTA Contest were Drew Acinger, Spring Hill sophomore, Kasey Bergkamp, Fowler senior, Jon French, McPherson junior, Amber Hines, Spearville sophomore, Jared Myers, Arapahoe, CO, junior, and Tucker Sexson, Weskan junior.
In mid-April, all but Bergkamp competed in Norfolk.
" This is the most highly competitive event, testing knowledge of soils, livestock, computers, horticulture and in several other areas," said Stephenson.
In this contest, if students declare themselves eligible for awards, then they are not able to compete in the contest again. French did compete and placed quite well but was out of the awards, facing strong, experienced competition from Iowa State, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Kansas State, and others.
" The remainder of the team gained experience from the competition and I'm hopeful they will stay together for next year's contests," said Stephenson.
Acinger, French, Myers and Sexson also competed in the Agriculture Knowledge Bowl, a quiz bowl on agricultural topics: agribusiness, agronomy, animal science, horticulture, ag mechanics, and general knowledge. They took third place and should have made it to the finals, but they missed one question, "Which," said Stephenson, "they knew the answer to and buzzed in a split-second too late."