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25 students earn Iowa PAS honors

ECC participants

ECC students participating in the Iowa Post-Secondary Agricultural Student (PAS) spring conference: Front row, from left: Sara Bergerson, Aaron Bruihler, Bobbi Sicard, Kayla Knudson, Jessie Soderstrum, Kaylyn Kucera, and Autumn Bright. Second row: Marina Lindsay, Melissa Gerken, Gared Stockwell, Brian Klein, Katie Rinkert, Hannah Nelson and Brittany Murphy. Third row: John Eiklenborg, Cody Dabelstein, Jacob Marter, Glendon Mesch, Blane Bark and Thomas Newhall. Fourth row: Connor Rieks, Professor Kevin Butt, Professor Eric Weuve, and Jason Arends. Not pictured: Nick Babcock, Cole Birchmier, Truman Chamness, Rebekah Hart, Jane Hoffman, Dani Nemmers, Heather Schnitker, Mike Wolthuizen, and Garrett Worthington.

Thirty-one students represented Ellsworth Community College proudly last week at the 2016 Iowa Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Spring Leadership Conference held at Honey Creek Lodge by Lake Rathbun. Twenty-five of the ECC participants not only earned places at the top of competition, but also earned the privilege to attend the National PAS Conference in Kansas City, MO, in March.

Hundreds of students, advisors, judges, sponsors and guests participated in agricultural competitions, seminars, leadership development activities, and an awards banquet. Awards were garnered by ECC students as follows:

In the individual events, ECC students placed as follows:

  • Ag Education: Jane Hoffman of Denison, 6th place.
  • Ag Sales: Kayla Knudson of Iowa Falls, 3rd place; Cody Dabelstein of Weatherford, TX, 5th place; and Nick Babcock of Galva, 6th place.
  • Career Planning – Agribusiness Management & Marketing Systems: Marina Lindsay of Iowa Falls, 4th place (qualifies for Nationals).
  • Career Planning – Ag Education: Heather Schnitker of Alden, 2nd place (qualifies for nationals).
  • Career Planning – Ag Processing & Biotechnology: Blane Bark of Nashua, 2nd place (qualifies for Nationals).
  • Career Planning – Animal Systems – Non-Ruminant Animal: Bobbi Sicard of Aplington, 3rd place (qualifies for Nationals).
  • Career Planning – Power, Structural & Technical Systems: Jason Arends of Conrad, 2nd place (qualifies for Nationals).
  • Employment Interview – Agribusiness Sales: Katie Rinkert of Prole, 8th place.
  • Employment Interview – Agriculture Equipment Service: Garrett Worthington of Newton, 4th place; and John Eiklenborg of Dike, 7th place.
  • Employment Interview – Feeds & Animal Health: Bobbi Sicard, 9th place.
  • Employment Interview – Livestock Production: Thomas Newhall of Dumont, 3rd place.
  • Precision Ag Specialist: Brian Klein of Sanborn, 1st place (qualifies for Nationals); Glendon Mesch of New Providence, 2nd place (qualifies for Nationals); and Jason Arends, 6th place (qualifies for Nationals).
  • Speakers in Agriculture – Impromptu: Sara Bergerson of St. Ansgar, 4th place.
  • Speakers in Agriculture – Prepared: Heather Schnitker, 4th place.
  • Equine Specialist: Jane Hoffman, 1st place; Autumn Bright of Crown Point, IN, 2nd place; and Hannah Nelson of Plymouth, MN, 3rd place.

In the team events, ECC students placed as follows:

  • College Bowl: ECC Team #1 (Brian Klein, Nick Babcock, Gared Stockwell of Iowa Falls, Jane Hoffman and Thomas Newhall) 2nd place, qualified for Nationals; ECC Team #3 (Aaron Bruihler of St. Peter, MN, Truman Chamness of Blairsburg, Glendon Mesch, Jason Arends and Kayla Knudson) 8th place; ECC Team #2 (Katie Rinkert, Garrett Worthington, Mike Wolthuizen of Sanborn, John Eiklenborg and Cole Birchmier of Story City), 22nd place.
  • Equine Specialist: ECC Team #1 (Katie Rinkert, Jane Hoffman and Kayla Knudson) 1st place, qualified for Nationals; ECC Team #2 (Autumn Bright, Rebekah Hart of Elgin, MN, and Dani Nemmers of Earlham), 2nd place (qualified for Nationals); ECC Team #3 (Hannah Nelson, Brittany Murphy of Plainfield and Kaylyn Kucera of Madison, NE), 3rd place (qualified for Nationals).
  • Beef Specialist: ECC Team #1 (Truman Chamness, Heather Schnitker and Blane Bark), 12th place.
  • Sheep Specialist: ECC Team #1 (Cole Birchmier, Sara Bergerson and Jessie Soderstrum of Boone), 3rd place, qualified for Nationals.
  • Swine Specialist: ECC Team #1 (Melissa Gerkin of Lake City, MN, Jacob Marter of Newton, and Connor Rieks of Alden), 3rd place, qualified for Nationals.

In additional to all the competition honors, ECC student Heather Schnitker was elected as State Vice-President for the 2016-17 year, and at the Agribusiness Association of Iowa Career Day Aaron Bruihler was the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from the Agribusiness Association of Iowa Foundation.

“Our students did an awesome job and we’re proud of all their accomplishments!” exclaimed ECC Professor Kevin Butt. “The students’ hard work and knowledge got them those results. These PAS events are great for our students because they build career seeking skills and connect with so many valuable industry partners.”

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