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April 29, 2000

UW-RF Wins Regional Academic Quadrathlon

Four University of Wisconsin-River Falls students recently won the Upper Midwest Regional Academic Quadrathalon. This marks the second time in five years that a UW-RF team has taken first place.

The UW-RF team consisted of four animal science majors: James Felling, a senior from Albany, Minn., with a dairy emphasis; Tera Forbeck a junior from Kaukauna with an equine emphasis; Gina Helstad, a junior from Hixton with a meat emphasize; and Ryan Thorson, a senior from Rudolph, who is a broad area agriculture major.

The competition consisted of four separate sections and the champion was selected based on a composite placing in each of the sections. Students complete a written exam, display skills in a laboratory practical, give an oral presentation, and compete head-to-head in a quiz bowl.

The UW-RF team finished first in the written exam, second in the quiz, and third in the laboratory practical.

According to Professor Steven Kelm, who coaches the team, "The contest is a very fair representation of what the students are actually learning compared to what they are expected to be learning, and it measures how students perform in those expectations."

A total of 14 collegiate teams participated in the contest, with 12 teams from land grant institutions including UW-Madison, Iowa State, and Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Purdue, Ohio State, and West Virginia. Chadron State in Nebraska also competed.

According to Professor Anthony Jilek, a team adviser and the animal and food science department chair, "To be able to do so well with the big name agriculture colleges says a lot about the quality of our program, students, and faculty."

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