Lana Koepke Johnson | Agronomy and Horticulture
Adam Striegel and Elizabeth Widder, coaches for the University of Nebraska–Lincoln Department of Agronomy and Horticulture’s Crops Judging Team, are thrilled.
The team took third-place overall for the four-year university division at the national North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Student Judging Conference hosted by Murray State University in Kentucky on April 13. The judging conference comprised a total of 15 contests for both two and four-year institutions.
The team narrowly missed out on a second-place finish by only 2 points.
“At this year’s national contest, we fielded one of the strongest teams we’ve ever had, shattering our previous high score record from 2018 by nearly 80 points. Since my arrival in 2016, our team has consistently improved each year, narrowing the gap between us and powerhouse teams like Kansas State and Iowa State,” said Striegel, Doctor of Plant Health student and an agronomy master's student specializing in weed science.
Nebraska’s scoring team included Justin Zoucha, a junior agronomy major, and senior agronomy majors Rodger Farr, Kolby Grint and Samantha Teten.
“Our crops team scored over 1,900 points. This is due completely to the amazing group of students who have worked to challenge themselves to improve each and every week in class and it’s very fulfilling to see their hard work and dedication pay off at our national contest,” Striegel said.
Teten and Farr also tied for first and third-place respectively in the Math exam. Farr placed fifth overall and Teten placed seventh overall in the individual competition.
“While several prominent team members graduated this semester, I am excited for the future. We took eight students to Kentucky, with roughly half competing for the first time at the national level, and their scores showed great promise. I’m eager to see how they will adapt next year on our scoring team,” Striegel said.
This contest marks the 13th consecutive crops judging contest in which Nebraska has placed in the top three in the 4-year university division, and the third year under the joint coaching efforts by Striegel and Widder.
Widder is an agronomy master's student, specializing in range and forage. She is advised by Daren Redfearn, associate professor of agronomy and Extension forage crop residue specialist.
Students interested in joining the university crops judging team are encouraged to contact Striegel.