Colorado State College of Agricultural Sciences Students Shine in Recent National Competitions

Students at the Colorado State University College of Agricultural Sciences can boast quite a year in student contests. Five student teams, including judging teams, placed well in or won national contests. The teams include students in the Departments of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Animal Sciences, Soil and Crop Sciences, Agricultural and Resource Economics, and Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management.

A special dinner was held on Dec. 19 with faculty and parents to honor students who participated in the contests.

"Student competitions are a wonderful opportunity for students to travel, compete and to get more deeply involved in their disciplines," said Jim Heird, interim vice provost and dean of the College of Agricultural Sciences. "The results our students have achieved help to show that our undergraduate program is one of the best in the country."

Highlights from the semester include:

  • The college’s soil and crop sciences team placing second in a national quiz bowl competition and the agronomy club placing first in a poster competition;
  • the landscape design and contracting team won a national competition for the second year in a row;
  • two entomology graduate students won national poster contests;
  • a team of graduate students won a case study competition in the American Agricultural Economics Association national competition;
  • the livestock judging team were reserve national champions at the National Collegiate Livestock competition;
  • the meats judging team were reserve champions at the International Collegiate Judging contest: and
  • The horse judging team won the American Quarter Horse Association world championship; the Arabian National championship; and the American Quarter Horse Congress championship.

The College of Agricultural sciences provides students with multiple opportunities to compete in contests. Each department supports clubs and student contests that allow students the opportunity to enhance their classroom education with hands-on activities.


Information about the competitions and participants follow.

Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

A team of four students placed second in the Quiz Bowl at the Student Association of American Society of Agronomy national meetings held Nov. 9-12 in Indianapolis. The Quiz Bowl competition is a question and answer format contest that covers a wide range of agricultural issues including soils, crops, insects, plant diseases, weeds and management strategies. The students also took first place in an educational poster presentation contest at the national meeting.

The team competed against 24 teams of students from other universities from across the nation. Team members include Todd Gains, Flagler, senior; Margaret Martinez, Raton, N.M, senior; Courtney Thomas, Morrill, Neb., sophomore; and Judd Maxwell, Princeton, Ill, senior.

The team is coached by Jack Fenwick, a soil and crop sciences professor.

Senior Karen Terpstra, Seymour, Wisc., was elected president of the American Society of Agronomy student section for the next term. As president, she’ll coordinate national student activities and organize next year’s annual meeting that will be held in Denver.

Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture

Colorado State University students won a national contest hosted by the Associated Landscape Contractors of America in Peoria, Ill., in March. The event attracts 800 students from more than 50 universities and colleges around the nation. The contest included 22 competitive events such as business management, plant identification, landscape design, irrigation, carpentry and sales.

Twenty-one Colorado State students competed in the landscape design and contracting contest. Mark Butler, Fort Collins, senior, and Brian Frazier, Norton, Mass., senior, placed first in pavement installation. Courtney Sikora, Denver, senior; and Philip Forsyth, Lincoln, R.I., senior, placed second in maintenance estimating. Christine Richards, Shawnee Mission, Kans., senior, placed third in interior design. Michael Kintgen, Littleton, senior, placed third in annual and perennial identification and woody plant identification. Erin Nash, Fort Collins, junior, placed third in irrigation design.

Other team members include Kira Appelhans, Idaho Falls, Ind., senior; Brooke Blackbird, Fort Collins, senior; Rebecca Braaten, Fort Collins, senior; Patrick Brey, Fort Collins, senior; Andrew Cronin, Fort Collins, junior; Arthur Fairburn, Fort Collins, senior; Matthew Haas, Fort Collins, senior; Curtis Manning, Fort Collins, senior; Kathryn Peterson, Portland, Ore., senior; Scott Pitner, Fort Collins, senior; Joseph Schneider, Fort Collins, senior; and Nathan Smith, Fort Collins, junior.

This is the second year the students have won this event. This team is coached by Grant Reid and Elizabeth Mogen, professors of horticulture and landscape architecture.

Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management

Casandra Lloyd, a graduate student in the Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management from Sacramento, Calif., won the President’s Prize for her poster at the Entomological Society of America’s annual meeting in Salt Lake City in November. Lloyd secured the prize over 25 other entries by university students from all over the United States.

Robin Mars, Roswell, Ga., also a graduate student, took top honors at the Western Society of Weed Sciences annual meeting in the poster competition last spring in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. The contest included nine other competitors from peer universities.

Both student projects were supervised by Ruth Hufbauer; Lloyd’s project was co-supervised by Andrew Norton. Both are assistant professors in the department.

Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Three graduate students within the department won a national competition in marketing agricultural products. The students competed in the graduate case study competition at the annual American Agricultural Economics Association meeting in Long Beach, Calif., against teams from 13 other universities. The teams were presented with a case study two weeks before the competition and, at the contest, had 15 minutes to present a strategy for building brand recognition for a product. The team, which competed in two different rounds to secure first place, were judged by nationally recognized professors and agribusiness professionals.

Team members are Megan Brunch, Yuma; Marcia Bugbee, Fortuna, Calif.; and Kamina Rosenstiel, Oakley, Calif.

The team is coached by Wendy Umberger, assistant professor in agricultural and resource economics.

Department of Animal Sciences

Three animal sciences teams have placed in the top two at national competitions this semester.

The livestock judging team, which is coached by Brett Kaysen, animal sciences instructor, placed as the reserve national champions in the 97th Annual National Collegiate Livestock Contest in Louisville, Ken., in November. The team competed against 26 other collegiate teams in the contest. Team members are Jeremy Burkett, Hillsdale, Wyo., senior; Josh Stroh, Lakseside, Neb., senior; Chad Murnin, Miles City, Mont., senior; Tabatha Lamber, Chadron, Neb., senior; Ben Elliott, Boulder, junior; Ben Cooley, Olathe, junior; Garrett Miller, Elbert, senior; and Ryan Parry, Sterling, senior.

The team placed fourth in the sheep judging competition, second in swine judging, sixth in cattle judging, fifth in oral reasons and was the second highest overall team, securing the reserve championship. Individually, Burkett placed third in sheep judging, was the seventh high individual in oral reasons and the eighth high individual overall; Stroh placed eighth in swine judging; and Murnin placed 10th in swine judging and was the fifth-high individual in oral reasons.

The meats judging team also won a reserve national championship. The International Collegiate Meat Judging contest in Dakota City, Neb., was held in November. The competition, which included 14 other university teams, included judging and grading beef, lamb and pork. Team members are Emily Scott, Cheyenne, Wyo., junior; Erin Konkel, Johnstown, junior; Molly Waneka, Lafayette, junior; John Michal, Flagler, junior; Brad Schneider, Iliff, junior; Desirae Jacobs, Broomfield, sophomore; Wendy Smith, Hopland, Calif., junior; and Karrie Blake, Stoneham, junior.

To secure the reserve championship, the team placed second for accurate rankings, first in written reasons, eighth in beef grading; first in lamb judging; fifth in pork judging; second in beef judging; third in total beef; and fourth in the meat cut specifications contest. Individually, Scott was high individual overall and high individual in the total beef portion of the contest and also placed third in beef grading, third in beef judging, fifth in meat cut specifications, and fifth in reasons; Schneider placed first in lamb judging, fifth in meat cut specifications; Waneka placed fourth in reasons; and Michal placed fifth in lamb judging and fifth in beef judging.

The meat judging team is coached by Eddie Behrends, research associate in the Department of Animal Sciences.

Colorado State horse judging teams have won championships at three national contests: the American Quarter Horse Association World Show contest, the Arabian Nationals contest and the American Quarter Horse Congress.

The American Quarter Horse Association World Show collegiate judging contest was held in Oklahoma City in November. Team members were A. J. Farrugia, Concord, Calif., sophomore; Alexa Johnson, Fort Collins, senior; Mary Lawlor, Thiensville, Wisc., junior; Summer Van Valkenburgh, Boulder, junior; Abby Sluzewski, Morrison, junior; and DeShane Williams, Marlow, Okla., senior. Farrugia, who was the second high individual overall in the competition, placed sixth in the halter competition, second in performance and first in oral reasons. Johnson placed fifth-high individual in halter and was 10th-high individual overall. Lawlor was ninth in performance and seventh-high individual overall. Van Valkenburgh was first in halter, sixth in reasons and third-high individual overall. Williams placed fourth in oral reasons. As a team, the group placed first in the halter division, third in performance and the high team in reasons.

The same team of students won the All American Quarter Horse Congress collegiate judging contest, which was held in Columbus, Ohio, in October. Farrugia was ninth-high individual in oral reasons; Johnson was ninth-high individual in the halter division, fifth in reasons and 10-high individual overall; Lawlor was eighth-high individual in performance, and eighth-high overall individual; and Williams topped the individual performance, was seventh in reasons and third-high overall individual. As a team, they placed fifth in the halter division, second in team performance and second in reasons.

A second horse judging team won the 2002 International Arabian Horse Association collegiate judging contest, which was held in Louisville, Ken., in October. Team members were Hannah Lavorini, Glenwood Springs, sophomore; Alyssa Ratzloff, Loveland, senior; Autumn Daniels, Fort Collins, sophomore; Mark Russell, Temball, Texas, sophomore; Lianna Scholtz, Elmo, Mo, sophomore; and Maggie Shaw, Fort Collins, junior. Individually, Lavorini placed sixth in the halter division and fifth in reasons; Ratzloff placed eighth in halter, first in performance and reasons and was fourth-high individual overall; Russell was fourth in halter and second in performance, reasons and overall; Scholtz was fifth-high in performance, ninth in performance and tenth in reasons; Shaw was ninth-high in halter and performance and seventh in reasons and overall. As a team, the group placed third in halter, first in team performance and first in reasons in addition to winning the contest overall.

The horse teams are coached by David Denniston, animal sciences assistant professor, and Teresa Slough, graduate assistant.