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UW-RF Soils Team Places in National Contest

APRIL 28, 2006--Four UW-RF students traveled to Macomb, Ill., to compete in the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture national soils contest, held April 22 at Western Illinois University. Sixteen teams from two- and four-year colleges competed. The UW-RF team placed sixth out of eight four-year teams. The team placed first among other four-year universities in a quiz bowl competition.

Members of the team included Derek Husmoen, an agricultural engineering technology major from Blair, John Wachsmuth, a horticulture major from Mishicot, Amy Sonnentag, a crop and soil science major from Cadott, and Sarah Zavodny, a dairy science major from Boyceville. Team coaches included Bill Anderson, professor of agronomy, Pam Weller, adjunct professor, and recent UW-River Falls graduate Kevin Gray, from La Crosse.

Anderson was pleased with the team’s efforts. “I think team members were disappointed that they didn’t place higher, but they had the opportunity to see soils in a different state and learn a great deal of practical information,” Anderson said. “I’m really proud of their efforts, especially considering that each member was only a college sophomore, while many of the their competitors were juniors and seniors from other notable four year institutions.”

After arriving in Macomb, the team took first among other four-year universities in the NACTA National Quiz Bowl. A panel of experts read questions that included topics related to molecular biology, genetic engineering, micro and macro economics, business theory, plant propagation, remote sensing technology, crop production, soil fertility, soil edaphology and pedology, applied economic law, fluid and hydrostatic power, reproductive physiology and animal nutrition.

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