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Crops Judging Continues Successful Tradition

Released by OPSU Campus Communications on 04/26/2016 Members of the OPSU Crops Judging Team traveled to the national crops judging contest in Crookston, Minn. Left to right: Trevor Johnson, Tyler Meyeres, Danielle Orosco, Chanda Reynolds, Josh Gordon, and Brandon Vaverka. —Courtesy photoMembers of the OPSU Crops Judging Team traveled to the national crops judging contest in Crookston, Minn. Left to right: Trevor Johnson, Tyler Meyeres, Danielle Orosco, Chanda Reynolds, Josh Gordon, and Brandon Vaverka. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — They are no strangers to success and this year proved to be no different for the OPSU Crops Judging Team as they followed up on a second place finish at the national judging contest last year.

Coach Curtis Bensch, OPSU Agronomy Instructor, led the team to an impressive top five finish at the 2016 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Crops Judging Contest in a season that saw huge improvements from start to finish for the team members.

The crops judging competition is an intensive examination of students’ agronomic skills and knowledge designed around the Certified Crop Adviser (CCA) program of the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). The four-part contest is made up of a math test, general knowledge test, plant and seed identification, and lab practical.

The team certainly puts in the miles traveling as they started the competition season off in February at a regional contest held at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa. The team finished seventh overall and came away with several goals for the remainder of the contests.

In preparation for the upcoming contests, the students participated in two mock competitions against West Texas A&M (WTAMU). The group traveled to WTAMU in Canyon, Texas for one practice session as well as hosting the WTAMU team in Goodwell for another.

March brought with it a trip to Manhattan, Kan. and a contest at Kansas State University where it was evident the students’ hard work was paying off as they finished fourth overall.

The NACTA contest was held April 16 at the University of Minnesota- Crookston in Crookston, Minn. The four-man team made up of Brandon Vaverka of North Newton, Kan.; Josh Gordon of Yuma, Colo.; Chanda Reynolds of Clarendon, Texas; and Trevor Johnson of La Junta, Colo. earned a fifth place finish at the 13-team contest. Danielle Orosco of Ulysses, Kan. and Tyler Meyeres of Vilas, Colo. traveled with the team as alternates. The team finished third overall in Plant and Seed Identification and third overall in Lab Practicum.

Dr. Bensch felt the team “made tremendous improvements” and was extremely proud that they met the goals they had set for the national contest. The competition was tight with less than 50 points out of a possible 2,400 separating the third, fourth and fifth place teams.

Thanks goes out to the team’s generous supporters including: Crop Production Services, Dekalb Seeds, Bayer Crop Science, Syngenta, Monsanto, Agrium Wholesale, Sportzone and a special thanks to Brandon Tripp, Brent Gordon and Bruce Postovit.