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North Dakota State University names its Top 10 SeniorsNorth Dakota State University names its Top 10 Seniors

Ten students from NDSU’s College of Agriculture were honored for their achievements.

Lon Tonneson

May 6, 2019

7 Min Read
NDSU recognizes 10 seniors in the College of Agriculture
TOP SENIORS: NDSU College of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Natural Resources Top 10 Seniors for 2019 were Shane Giedd, front row left, Kacey Koester, Adreanna Trzpuch, Prajakta Warang, and Chase Ouse Grindberg; Elizabeth Blessum, back row left, Shelby Hartwig, Hannah Ohm and Shelby Grabanski. NDSU

I like giving shout-outs to people in agriculture who win awards. It’s inspiring to “meet” them and hear their stories.

Recently, the North Dakota State University College of Agriculture, Food Systems and Natural Resources (CAFSNR) named its Top 10 Seniors for 2019. They are:

• Elizabeth Blessum. Blessum is a crop and weed sciences major with a minor in agribusiness from Rugby, N.D. She made the dean’s list every year and was active in many clubs and organizations during her undergraduate studies at NDSU including Ag Ambassadors, Agronomy Club and Saddle and Sirloin. She is going to work for BASF after graduating.

• Shane Giedd. Giedd is an animal science major with a minor in crop and weed sciences from Washburn, N.D. He is the son of Mark and Wanda Giedd and comes from a small grains and registered Hereford operation. He has been heavily involved in the Saddle and Sirloin and Judging Clubs at NDSU.

Giedd is currently president of judging club and has been a member of the meats, livestock, and meat animal evaluation teams. His involvement in Saddle and Sirloin includes being a showman at the Little International, the ham curing contest chair, reporter, animal welfare chair, and others. He has also been active in the North Dakota Junior Hereford Association. This past summer, Giedd was a professional services intern at Trans Ova Genetics in Sioux Center, Iowa, where he travelled in North and South Dakota, Nebraska, and Colorado assisting with Embryo transfer and In Vitro Fertilization procedures. After graduation, he plans on returning home to his family’s farm and ranch to help expand their operation.

• Shelby Grabanski. Grabanski is an agricultural economics major from Kindred, N.D. She was licensed as a crop insurance agent at 18 and an active agent since she was 20 years old. She has held work positions with various companies such as Progressive Ag, DuPont Pioneer and Archer Daniels Midland.

Grabanski maintained her status as a dean’s list honor student in college while involved in extra-curricular activities such as National Agri-Marketing Association, Saddle and Sirloin, Agribusiness Club, Ballroom Dancing Club, Chi-Alpha Christian Ministry, Phi Eta Sigma Honor Society, and Special Olympics-Fargo Cheer Coach. She was a part of the National Agri-Marketing Association’s top five national teams two years in a row. She has studied abroad for five months in Brazil and is conversational in three languages.

While abroad, Grabanski was admitted into Drake University Law School as an Iowa Supreme Court scholar.

• Chase Grindberg. Grindberg is a crop and weed sciences major with a minor in agribusiness from Fargo, N.D. He was also named the outstanding senior. Grindberg has been involved Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, College Republicans, student government and Blue Key Honor Society. He was elected student body president, where he had the opportunity to be the voice of the students at NDSU.

Off-campus, Grindberg earned internships with Sen. John Hoeven’s office in Washington, D.C., and Pioneer Seeds. In June, he will be starting full-time employment with Corteva Agriscience.

• Shelby Hartwig. Hartwig is an agricultural economics major with minors in animal science and business administration from Albany, Minn. She will graduate Magna Cum Laude from NDSU. As a member of the Sigma Alpha Professional Agricultural Sorority, she has formed lifelong friendships with women from various agricultural backgrounds and pursuits. She participated in the 2017-18 AgCountry Farm Credit Fellows Program, showed in three Little Internationals and was on dean’s list throughout her time at NDSU.

• Kacey Koester. Koester is an animal science with a minor in agribusiness from Steele, N.D. She was raised as a fifth-generation rancher by her parents, Steve and Tracey Koester, on their family seedstock and cow-calf Red Angus ranch.

Koester knew from a young age she wanted to be very involved in the beef industry for the rest of her life. This led her to be very involved in 4-H, FFA, and the Junior Red Angus Association of America (JRA). She held the office of president for her 4-H club, FFA chapter and the JRA. She was also a part of nationally competitive livestock judging and hippology teams, as well as represented North Dakota at the National FFA convention for extemporaneous speaking in 2015.

Koester served on various Saddle and Sirloin committees and was the assistant manager and manager for the 92nd and 93rd Little Internationals. She also served as president of the Judging Club and belongs to the Ag Ambassadors.

Currently, she works as a field representative for Top Dollar Angus. She plans to continue her work with Top Dollar after graduation, as well as continue to run a herd of commercial Red Angus cattle with her fiancé, Jake Jacobson, in Max, N.D.

• Hannah Ohm. Ohm is a soil science with a minor in crop and weed sciences from Fargo, N.D., now pursuing master’s degree in the School of Natural Resource Sciences. Ohm is the daughter of Chris and Jackie Ohm. She joined the Fargo Optimist Club, which raises money for local youth and leads one of their biggest fundraisers every year.

Upon graduating from Shanley High School, Ohm met her fiancé, Joe, then left to golf at Waldorf College, Forest City, Iowa. After one year, she returned to Fargo and began attending NDSU. During Ohm’s first week of school at NDSU, their daughter, Eliza, was born. Over the next two years she became an undergraduate research assistant for Jay Goos and placed third in two graduate-level poster competitions at two regional meetings. She also received the Duncan Scholarship three times and has won the poster competition the past two years.

In November 2017, they welcomed their twins, Oaklyn and Ryker, into their family. In the spring and summer of 2018, Ohm planned a benefit for a local Fargo man that raised over $40,000. Ohm graduated in August 2018, two semesters earlier than planned, with her Bachelor of Science degree in soil science and a minor in crop and weed science. She then continued on into her master’s under Christina Hargiss and Thomas DeSutter in the School of Natural Resource Sciences where she studies urban soil taxonomy. She hopes to become a professor.

• Hannah Rehder. Rehder is an agricultural economics with a minor in animal science from Barnesville, Minn. Rehder is the daughter of Jay and Jennifer Rehder. She had several significant accomplishments during her undergraduate career. In the spring of 2017, she got in contact with the staff at Farm Rescue. Rehder teamed with other members of Sigma Alpha Sorority and got busy in the kitchen. In conjunction with NDSU Ag-Week, $700 dollars was raised through a bake sale to benefit farm families in need.

In January 2018, she used her leadership role in Sigma Alpha sorority to start a blog page centered on the adventures of women in agriculture. The mission of the blog is to connect curious consumers with passionate agriculturalists. She graduated in December with Magna Cum Laude honors.

Rehder continues to leave a positive impact on those around her. She volunteers as livestock quiz-bowl coach and serves as the Swine Barn Superintendent for her hometown county fair.

• Adreanna Trzpuch. Trzpuc is an agricultural economics major with a minor in animal science from Kathryn, N.D. She is the daughter of Jeffery and Holly Trzpuc. Every semester, she has been placed on the NDSU dean’s list.

During the 2017-2018 academic year, she was accepted into the AgCountry Farm Credit Fellows Program. She has been involved in the Saddle and Sirloin Club and the Agribusiness Club, and she held a part-time job as a grader for the NDSU Mathematics Department. After graduation, she will start work as a loan officer at Farm Credit Services in Carrington, N.D.

• Prajakta Warang. Warang is a microbiology major with minors in biotechnology and chemistry from India. She has served as the president of NDSU International Student Association where she hosted International Night for over 250 people. This night is an amalgamation of different cultures present at NDSU as well as showcases diversity.

Warang has led more than 50 campus tours as Bison Guide. She has served as a resident assistant for Residence Life and advanced to a Residence Complex manager. She will be graduating with a cumulative grade point average of 3.7 in microbiology. She has also been awarded with Junior-Senior Scholarship as well as is a Mancur Olson Scholar.

Since her second year at college, Warang has worked in various research labs. She plans to pursue graduate studies in the field of public health. She hopes to use her knowledge and expertise in spreading awareness of public health and sanitation in third world countries.

“It is always amazing to see the very special accomplishments of our students,” says David Buchanan, associate dean for academic programs, in presenting the awards.

I agree. It makes me wonder what I did during my years at South Dakota State University.

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