FHSU agriculture students place top marks in recent annual judging conference


HAYS, Kan. -- Fort Hays State University students in the Agriculture Department recently traveled to Manhattan to compete against 23 universities in the 2017 Judging Conference of the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture.

FHSU placed first in Computer Application with Ethan Ziegler, Hays, a spring 2017 graduate, placing second high individual and Hunter Hewitt, Sterling junior, as the fourth high individual. Other team members were Tucker Gillespie, Grainfield senior, and Reagan Quick, Larned senior. Dr. Craig Smith, associate professor of agriculture, was the coach.

This was the first time a group from FHSU competed in the NACTA Computer Applications contest, which tested the students' skills in analyzing a real-world agricultural business problem in Excel. They were judged on the usability, functionality and accuracy of their Excel spreadsheet.

FHSU also placed first in the Livestock Judging contest, with Michael Dix, Stockton junior, as the high individual. Mariah Beikman, St. Francis junior, was second high individual and Abbie Baker, Parker, Colo., junior, was third high individual. Additional team members were Thane Barker, Lebo junior, Hylie Dibbern, Cairo, Neb., senior, and Mackenzie Thornburg, Great Bend junior. Kevin Huser was the livestock judging coach.

Michael Dix was also the high individual for hogs, sheep, goats and reasons.

The FHSU Livestock Management contest team placed third. Team members were
Sarah Bellar, Howard senior, Cody Howell, Chanute senior, Haley Showalter, Valley Falls senior, and Hannah Weber, Milan senior. Dr. Bob Keener, assistant professor of agriculture, was the coach.

Ziegler placed third high individual in Precision Agriculture.

Other teams participating were:

Agribusiness: Weber, Kendra Brummer, Downs junior, Celine Hornung, Stratton, Colo., senior, and Chase Wagner, Esbon senior.

Knowledge Bowl: Ziegler, Weber, Hornung and Wagner.

Crops: Ziegler; Chase Clinkingbeard, Hugoton junior; Landon Davis, Haviland sophomore; Lucas Heinzen, Janesvile, Wis., freshman; Levi Sanders, Towner, Colo., freshman; and Jacob Mettlen, Liberal junior.

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