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K-State Crops Team brings home national title again

With a first place at the American Royal contest, Kansas State University splits 2022 title in Chicago with Iowa State.

December 19, 2022

2 Min Read
Members of K-State's 2022 Collegiate Crops Judging Team
WINNERS: Members of Kansas State University’s 2022 Collegiate Crops Judging Team include, first row: Coach Sarah Frye (left), Ashley Chandler, Ellie Braun, Leah Hudson and Renae Sinclair. Second row: Assistant Coach Kevin Donnelly (left), Landon Trout, Jarek Meyer and Assistant Coach Luke Ryan. Courtesy of K-State Research and Extension

The Kansas State University crops team completed the 2022 fall season by placing first at the Kansas City American Royal Collegiate Crops Contest and second at the Chicago Collegiate Crops Contest in November. The results earned the team a split with Iowa State University for the national championship.    

In the past 24 years, K-State teams have won or shared the crops judging national championship 19 times. K-State also placed first over Iowa State in the central regional contest held in Manhattan, Kan., earlier this fall.

“This team worked diligently to return K-State to a share of the national crops judging championship in a very competitive year,” says Kevin Donnelly, emeritus professor of agronomy who served as an assistant coach following his retirement in June.  

“The team dominated the Kansas City contest and fell just a few points short in Chicago,” Donnelly adds.

Members of the K-State team include Ellie Braun, Belvue, Kan.; Ashley Chandler, Neodesha, Kan.; and Jarek Meyer, Smith Center, Kan. Alternate team members were: Leah Hudson, Rossville, Kan.; Landon Trout, Scott City, Kan.; and Renae Sinclair, Mosca, Colo. Meyer is an agricultural economics major and the others are all agronomy majors.

“Our alternates were also very competitive, which is critical to the future success of the program,” says Sarah Frye, the team coach, a past team member and current agronomy graduate student from Abilene, Kan.

At Kansas City, Mo., the team swept first place in all three components of the contest: Grain grading, seed analysis, and plant and seed identification. At Chicago, K-State was first in seed analysis and identification, and second in grain grading.

Individually, Braun placed first in Kansas City and fourth in Chicago. Chandler placed third in Kansas City and Chicago, and Meyer placed fourth in Kansas City and fifth in Chicago.

In the individual components at Kansas City:

  • Braun was first in identification, second in grading and third in analysis.

  • Chandler finished second in identification and tied for second in grading.

  • Meyer was first in grading and third in identification.

At Chicago:

  • Chandler was first in identification and second in analysis.

  • Braun placed second in identification and fourth in grading.

  • Meyer was third in identification and fourth in analysis. 

Frye was assisted by K-State graduate student Luke Ryan, Solomon, Kan.; and Donnelly.

Crop judging requires participants to identify 200 plant or seed samples of crops and weeds; grade eight samples of grain according to Federal Grain Inspection Service standards; and analyze 10 seed samples to determine what contaminants they contain.

Source: Kansas State University Research and Extension News Service

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