The national crops judging contests have a long and celebrated history. The University of
Minnesota, Crookston Collegiate Crops Teams have been a part of that history since 1967, and this year, the team from the Crookston campus placed second in both national competitions held in November in Kansas City, Mo., and Chicago, Ill. The 2012 team consisted of three agronomy majors including Dan Grefsrud, a senior from Hawley, Minn.; Travis Lund, a senior from Brandon, Minn.; and Missy Geiszler, a junior from Mayer, Minn.
The team was coached by agronomy instructor Rob Proulx, assisted by Matthew Green, a senior from Greenbush, Minn., who is a triple major in agronomy, agricultural systems management, and agricultural business. Green was a member of the 2011 Collegiate Crops Judging Team from the U of M, Crookston.
In the Kansas City Crops Contest held November 13, each team member earned scores of 95% or above in seed analysis which qualified them each for All-American Recognition. Lund finished in second place in grain grading, tied for second place in seed analysis, and finished in fourth place in plant and seed identification, giving him a second place finish overall. Geiszler finished second in plant and seed identification, fourth in seed analysis, and sixth in grain grading, giving her a fifth place finish overall. Grefsrud tied for second with Lund in seed analysis and finished seventh in grain grading and sixth in plant and seed identification, leading to a sixth place finish overall.
In the Chicago Crops Contest held November 17, All-American Recognition (scoring 95% or above) was earned by Lund in grain grading, seed analysis, and plant and seed identification; Geiszler in seed analysis and plant and seed identification, and Grefsrud in seed analysis. Lund finished first in seed analysis, third in plant and seed identification, and fifth in grain grading, giving him a third-place finish overall. Geiszler finished fourth overall, with fourth place finishes in grain grading and plant and seed identification and a third place finish in seed analysis. Grefsrud finished sixth overall, tying for second place in seed analysis, finishing seventh in grain grading, and finishing eighth in plant and seed identification.
Both second place finishes by the U of M, Crookston team came just behind first-place Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kan., and ahead of Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Okla., who placed third. Other top finishers were Purdue University; University of Wisconsin, Platteville; South Dakota State University; Australian National Team; Fort Hays State University; and Cloud County Community College.
The crops contests integrate a student’s knowledge of agronomy into three categories: seed analysis, grain grading and crop and weed identification. The Kansas City and Chicago contests represent the national finals of collegiate crops competition for the year. Preparation for crops contests teaches evaluation of crops for quality relative to certification, viability, and marketing.
The first Collegiate Crops Contest was held in 1923 and in Kansas City in 1929. Collectively in the 89 years of competition, 163 crops contests have taken place. Teams from the U of M, Crookston have competed in the crops contests for 45 years. They have finished in the top four more than 30 times and four times when the team fell out of the top four, the teams consisted of only two members rather than the usual three-member team. Both times those teams placed sixth overall. To learn more about the contests, visit www.crops.org/students/contests.