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SDSU Crops Judging Team Receives High Honors at National Contests

The South Dakota State University Crops Judging Team finished third and fourth at the two national finals collegiate crops competitions held last fall. The team placed fourth at the Kansas City Royal Contest held on Nov. 16 and third at the National Collegiate Crops Contest held in Ames, Iowa, on Nov. 19.
Collegiate crops competitions consist of three parts: grain grading, seed and plant identification and seed analysis. These components require students to grade grain samples, identify 200 seed and plant samples and analyze seed samples for contaminants, which they also must identify and classify.
The 2021 team members include: Miranda Smidt, agronomy student from Brookings, South Dakota; Aubrey Weishaar, agronomy student from Lemmon, South Dakota; Dalton Howe, agronomy student from Redfield, South Dakota; Jackson Cramer, agronomy student from Warner, South Dakota; and Miguel Mena, agronomy student from Harlan, Iowa. The team is coached by Dr. Brent Turnipseed and assisted by Rachel Geary, plant science master’s student from Elk Point, South Dakota, and Johnna Jorgensen, plant science master’s student from Mount Vernon, South Dakota. 
Individual results from the contests include:
In addition to competing, team members had the chance to tour agricultural facilities near Kansas City and Ames.
“My favorite part about being on the crops judging team is that we are all competitive people,” said Smidt. “It pushed me to further my knowledge in areas where I wasn’t as strong suited. Not only that, but then being able to take that competitiveness nationally and even take home first place individually in seed analysis made all the hours of studying worth it.”
The SDSU crops judging team has continually proven the great amount of skill and expertise that lies within the university’s Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science on the national level.
“Crops judging was more than just about the competition to me,” said Weishaar. “I learned how important it is to grow with my team and to help each other along the way.”
Image for College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences
Image for Department of Agronomy, Horticulture & Plant Science


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