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UWRF Receives Second Place at Regional Academic Quadrathlon

By Kendra Knutson
APRIL 16, 2007--The UW-River Falls Academic Quadrathlon team was just six points shy of first place as they earned second place honors in regional competition held in in Des Moines. The UWRF team was one of 15 teams at the competition, which featured many of the major agricultural colleges in the Midwest.

The UWRF team included: Adam Ward, a senior dairy science major from Arpin, Wis., Patrick Wiltzius, a senior majoring in dairy science from Ripon, Wis., Kate LeVasseur, a senior animal science major from Plover, Wis., and John Schneider, a senior majoring in animal science from Black Creek, Wis.  

Animal and food science Professors Gary Onan and Sylvia Kehoe from the UWRF College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences accompanied the team to Iowa and acted as advisors.

The competition consisted of a written exam, laboratory practicum, an oral presentation and a quiz bowl. The content of the four segments of the competition dealt with all aspects of production animal agriculture, including questions and exercises concerning management of dairy cattle, beef cattle, swine, sheep, poultry and horses. Also included were the academic disciplines of animal science such as nutrition, physiology, breeding and genetics, and animal health.

Members of the team prepared in different ways for the event. Schneider noted he had not prepared extensively other than looking over some poultry and beef information.   He explained that the group reviewed old class notes on the trip to Iowa.  

Wiltzius admitted that he studied a few hours. "I also worked with Dr. Onan on some of the sheep subjects," said Wiltzius.

The UWRF team proved it could compete with larger schools as it received the top placing in the written exam and lab practicum. The quiz bowl competition became especially exciting when UWRF received second place only after an extreme attempt at first.

UWRF was beaten by Ohio State University in the third round, which dropped UWRF to the consolation rounds. UWRF went on to win the rest of their matches by large margins and eventually came to meet OSU again in the final rounds. Since quiz bowl is double elimination, UWRF had to beat OSU twice in order to win. The team managed to win the first round but dropped the second, which put it into its final placing of second overall.

"I was very proud of the way our team continued to focus and do well throughout the quiz bowl event," said Onan. "I think our performance in the AQ illustrates that we provide a level of animal science education at UWRF that is the equivalent to that found at any major, nationally recognized agricultural college."

Other teams in the competition included: Ohio State University (1st place), University of Illinois (3rd), Iowa State University (4th), North Dakota State University (5th), Michigan State University (6th), South Dakota State University, University of Minnesota, Kansas State University, University of Missouri, University of Wisconsin-Platteville, University of Nebraska, Southern Illinois University, Illinois State University, and West Virginia University.

AQ member Kate LeVasseur, who will be attending vet school in the fall to become a large animal practitioner, said she enjoyed her experience on the team.

"It's just another example of the wide variety of opportunities that UWRF provides for students," said LeVasseur. "I've enjoyed my undergraduate experience here and have been able to explore my interests."

Wiltzius, who would like a career in the food safety field working on agri-terrorism and biosecurity issues, also enjoyed being part of the second place team.

"I was very excited about receiving second place," said Wiltzius, "We were the underdogs there, because we were competing against the likes of Ohio State University, University of Nebraska, Southern Illinois University, along with other big name schools."

Schneider, who sees himself as an animal nutritionist in the future, was happy with second place but also a little upset. "It was just frustrating to do so well in three categories and only get second place," said Schneider.  

The Academic Quadrathlon is sponsored jointly by the American Society of Animal Science and the American Dairy Science Association.


Last updated: Thursday, 22-Apr-2010 16:08:13 Central Daylight Time


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