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Collegiate Crops Team at U of M, Crookston takes First Place in Chicago and Kansas City National Contests
November 28, 2006

Contact: Elizabeth Tollefson, assistant director of communications, 218-281-8432 (ltollefs@umn.edu) ; Amy Lubarski, executive admin and office specialist, 218-281- 8101 (lubarski@umn.edu)


UMC Collegiate Crops Team in Chicago, Ill. (l to r) Charles Habstritt, associate professor of agriculture and coach; Eric Proulx; Dan Pazdernik; Meagan McGrane; and Amy Schwartz.
UMC Collegiate Crops Team in Chicago, Ill. (l to r) Charles Habstritt, associate professor of agriculture and coach; Eric Proulx; Dan Pazdernik; Meagan McGrane; and Amy Schwartz.
CROOKSTON, MN (November 28, 2006) – Recent first place finishes by the University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) Collegiate Crops Team continue a legacy of success established long ago. The two national contests, held in Chicago, Ill., and Kansas City, Kan., took place November 18 and 21, 2006, respectively. Representing UMC were Meagan McGrane, Wadena, Minn., Eric Proulx, Red Lake Falls, Minn., and Dan Pazdernik, Waubun, Minn. Amy Schwartz, Monticello, Minn., served as the alternate for both contests. Charles Habstritt, associate professor of agriculture at UMC, has served as the coach since the crops teams began participating in the contests 35 years ago.

The contests integrate a student’s knowledge of agronomy into the three categories: seed analysis, grain grading and crop and weed identification. Results from the contest in Chicago were Eric Proulx, first place individual; Meagan McGrane, second place individual; and  Dan Pazdernik, sixth place individual. The team took first place overall with first place finishes in seed analysis and grain grading and a third place finish in crop and weed identification. In Kansas City, the team finished in first place in all three of the team contests and individual finishes include Meagan McGrane, first place individual; Eric Proulx, second place individual; and Dan Pazdernik, seventh place individual.

“For UMC to finish first in both of the national Collegiate Crops Contests is phenomenal,” Habstritt remarked. “It shows the high level of dedication by our students. They deserve this recognition of their hard work, and I am proud of the way they represented our campus.”  UMC was up against teams from Purdue University, Kansas State University, Oklahoma State University, South Dakota State University, University of Wisconsin Platteville, Virginia Tech University, University of Tenn. Martin, Murray State University.

Preparation for the contests begins early in the semester and requires intense preparation. Crops teams from UMC have placed in the top three more than 20 times over their history. The Chicago contest began in 1923 and has been held every year except in 1929 and during World War II (1942-‘46). The Kansas City Contest was held the first time in 1929 and has been held annually through 1941, with the exception of 1942-‘46. Collectively, 153 contests have been held.

The University of Minnesota, Crookston (UMC) delivers more than 24 different undergraduate degree programs, including online options, in agriculture; arts, humanities and social sciences; business; math, science and technology; and natural resources. UMC is dedicated to helping students and the region aim higher, reach further and dream big dreams. To learn more, visit www.UMCrookston.edu.

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