AMES, Iowa – Eight Iowa teams participated in the sixth annual Crop Scouting Competition for Iowa youth on Aug. 2. The competition is conducted by the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Integrated Pest Management program at the Field Extension Education Laboratory in Boone, Iowa.
The teams, which consisted of Iowa youth in grades 9-12, were tested on their knowledge of crop insects and diseases, crop growth and development, and weed identification. A written test was given to each participant, and teams were judged by ISU Extension and Outreach specialists at eight field stations located throughout the Field Extension Education Lab. The overall goal of the competition is for youth to learn more about integrated pest management and scouting, as well as have the chance to learn and interact with extension specialists.
Some teams entered the competition this year for the very first time, while others had experience competing over the previous five years of competition. FFA Advisor James Abbas at AGWSR Community Schools, Ackley, Iowa, brought his FFA students to the ISU Crop Scouting Competition this year for the third time.
“I like to bring my FFA students to this competition because it enables them to learn from ISU Extension and Outreach faculty and staff,” Abbas said. “The experts working the competition are able to provide instant feedback to the teams, and they do so in a respectful, positive manner. They are always willing to help the kids and work with them.”
While the competition provides an opportunity to work and learn from ISU Extension and Outreach specialists, the top two teams also have the chance to compete at the Regional Crop Scouting Competition, and take on the top two overall winning teams from both the University Nebraska-Lincoln Crop Scouting Competition and the Purdue University Crop Scouting Competition.
The first place overall winning team at the Iowa State Crop Scouting Competition was Clayton County Team #1 from Clayton County, and the second place overall team was Kuhlman Seed from Denison, Iowa.
“We’re really looking forward to the Regional Crop Scouting Competition,” said Randall Kuhlman, team leader of Kuhlman Seed.
This year’s Regional Crop Scouting Competition will be held on Aug. 31 in Boone at the ISU Field Extension Education Lab.
“One of the best parts about the Crop Scouting Competition and Regional Crop Scouting Competition is the kids are actually learning during it,” said Adam Sisson, extension specialist, ISU Extension and Outreach Integrated Pest Management Program. “They will walk away with trophies and prizes, but they’ll also walk away with knowledge and, hopefully, an increased knowledge of ISU Extension and Outreach.”
Overall team winners from Iowa State University Crop Scouting Competition
First Place: Clayton County Team #1
Students: Ted Hilgerson, Andrey Shirbroun, Cole Deitchler, Melanie Lane, and Matt Whittle (Clayton County 4-H members) Coaches: Joe and Suzanne Shirbroun with Pioneer Seed in Farmersburg, Iowa. Photo by Brandon Kleinke
Second Place: Kuhlmann Seed
Students: Brady Fredrick, Hannah Holdsworth, and Connor Garrett; Coach: Randall Kuhlmann of Kuhlmann Seed in Denison, Iowa. Photo by Brandon Kleinke