K-State Crops Team claims fifth straight national
championshipK-State Communications and Marketing
|The K-State Crops Team
claimed the title of national champion for the fifth year in a row by
winning the Kansas City American Royal Collegiate Crops Context and the
Chicago Collegiate Crops Contest in November. (Photo:
K-State Communications and
The Kansas State University
Crops Team recently captured the title of national champion for the fifth year
in a row. K-State teams have now won the crops contest championship in 12 of the
past 15 years.
To win the 2013 national title, the team won both the
Kansas City American Royal Collegiate Crops Contest on Nov. 19 and the Chicago
Collegiate Crops Contest on Nov. 23.
K-State placed first at both
contests in plant-and-seed identification and grain grading, and second in seed
analysis. Individually, the three K-State team members completed a rare sweep of
the top three places in both contests.
Members of the K-State team
were Jeri Sigle, senior, Council Grove; Nathan Larson, sophomore, Kensington;
and Morgan Halderson, senior, Delphos. Alternates were sophomores Sam Knauss,
Paola; Tyler Herrs, Linn; and Ben Coomes, Girard. All are agronomy majors except
Sigle, who is majoring in agricultural education with a minor in agronomy.
Sigle was the high individual overall in both contests. In Chicago
she was first in grain grading with a perfect score, second in identification,
and third in seed analysis. In Kansas City she was second in identification and
seed analysis and fourth in grain grading.
Nathan Larson finished
second overall in both contests, tying with Sigle in Chicago for first in grain
grading with a perfect score, and finished first in identification and fifth in
seed analysis. In Kansas City, he was first in identification and second
in grain grading.
Morgan Halderson was third in both events, highlighted
by a first place finish in grain grading with a perfect score in Kansas City.
She was second in grain grading in Chicago and fourth in identification in both
Sam Knauss was an alternate in both contests, and he also
posted a perfect score in grain grading in Kansas City. Tyler Herrs and Ben
Coomes competed in Kansas City.
The team was coached by
Kevin Donnelly, K-State professor of agronomy. Assistant coach was Hannah
Christen, senior in agronomy from Oregon, Ill., who was a member of the 2012
In the contests, participants are required to identify 200
different plant or seed samples of crops and weeds; grade eight different
samples of grain according to Federal Grain Inspection Service standards; and
analyze ten seed samples to determine what contaminants they contain.
American Royal assumed leadership of the Kansas City contest this year, with CHS
Foundation as the primary sponsor. Additional sponsors were the American Society
of Agronomy, DuPont Pioneer, and the South Dakota Crop Improvement
The primary sponsor of the Chicago contest this year was the
CME Group. In addition, donors in Chicago included the Crop Science Society of
America, Growmark Cooperative, and the Society of Commercial Seed
For its performance, K-State received a team scholarship
award from contest sponsors at Kansas City, and CME Group provided individual
scholarships to the top five students at Chicago.
Locally, sponsors for
the K-State Crops Team include the Kansas Crop Improvement Association, K-State
Department of Agronomy, and the K-State Student Government Association.