FHSU's ag quiz bowl team wins another title, trophy on display at Saturday's basketball games

Ag quiz bowl 2016

By Diane Gasper-O'Brien
University Relations and Marketing
HAYS, Kan. -- Saturday is designated be Senior Day at Gross Memorial Coliseum, a day traditionally scheduled to honor seniors on the Fort Hays State University men's and women's basketball teams.

But the work of another group of FHSU seniors also will be featured at GMC.

The Farmers and Ranchers of Ellis County Farm Bureau Association is one of the sponsors for the Tigers' final regular-season home game, and FHSU's chapter of Collegiate Farm Bureau will be helping out at a booth on the north end of the coliseum.

The students plan to have on display the first-place trophy that Fort Hays State's team won at a quiz bowl at last month's Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference in Manhattan.

Seniors Ryan Kinsler from Kingman, Levi Prieb from Buhler and Austin Schweizer from Sterling joined Rexford junior Kylie Jones in bringing the championship trophy back to Fort Hays State for the second consecutive year. It was the third time FHSU won the ag quiz bowl, with the first title coming in 2010.

The FHSU chapter, started about nine years ago, is one of the strongest in the state, said Brenden Wirth, 6th District Administrator for Kansas Farm Bureau.

"They are pretty active and are really good representatives of agriculture advocacy," said Wirth, the advisor for the FHSU chapter who makes the two-hour trip from his home in Mankato to Hays at least twice a month for meetings.

One of the main purposes of the program is leadership development in students interested in agriculture. But while there are a lot of ag majors in the organization, there also are students in other majors who participate in the program.

"I love the family culture of it," said Megan Finlay, a history education major from Loveland, Colo.

Finlay, one of more than 20 members in FHSU's chapter, first got involved in Collegiate Farm Bureau while attending junior college in Sterling, Colo.

"A big part of the reason I came to Fort Hays State was because they had a Collegiate Farm Bureau," Finlay said. "And when I graduate, I still hope to be involved with it, so I will have a family wherever I go."

For Kinsler and Schweizer, it was the third consecutive championship performance in the quiz bowl, because they were on the team at Hutchinson Community College that won the title two years ago, then continued that success last year.

After graduation from HCC, Kinsler and Schweizer, along with Prieb, all decided to pursue their education as agronomy majors at Fort Hays State.

"We all wanted to expand on what we learned at the community college," Kinsler said, "so we came for a visit (to FHSU) together and all decided to come here."

After graduating from FHSU this spring, Kinsler will return to his family farm near Kingman, but he said he will never forget his days of participating in Collegiate Farm Bureau, where he took part in numerous projects promoting awareness about agriculture and enhancing leadership skills through the Farm Bureau organization.

"It's been a great experience," he said.

Photo caption: Members of Fort Hays State's 2016 champion quiz bowl team at the Kansas Farm Bureau Young Farmers and Ranchers Conference last month in Manhattan are, from left: Levi Prieb, Buhler senior; Austin Schweizer, Sterling senior; Ryan Kinser, Kingman senior; and Kiley Jones, Rexford junior. Also pictured is KFB President Rich Felts, far right.¬

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