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UWRF hosts 53rd annual Agricultural Technology Contes

March 21, 2013

UW-River Falls will host the 53rd annual Agricultural Technology Contest on April 6, 2013. This year’s contest is taking place during the Centennial Celebration of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES).

The contest began in 1961 with the hope of giving high school youth the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills that they were learning in their agriculture classrooms.
The first year, 17 schools and approximately 600 students participated in the Agricultural Technology Contest. In 2012, the campus welcomed over 60 schools and more than 1,000 students in the contests.

Today the contest focuses on agricultural communications, agricultural mechanics, agronomy, dairy cattle evaluation, farm business management, floriculture, food science and technology, forestry, horse evaluation, livestock evaluation, meats, nursery/landscape, soils, veterinary science and wildlife.

This year, UWRF coordinates the Wisconsin FFA state contests for agricultural communications and food science and technology. The first-place teams will advance to compete at the National FFA Convention in Louisville, Ky., this October.

Six of these contests also serve as qualifying contests for the Wisconsin FFA Association Career Development Events (CDE) to be held April 26, 2013, in Madison, Wis. These contests include agricultural technology and mechanical systems, dairy evaluation, floriculture, horse evaluation, livestock evaluation and wildlife.

Two contests allow middle school students to demonstrate their skills in agriscience and plant science. Students also have the opportunity to compete in the 34th Annual Crop Show and a Power Tool Drag Race. Another highlight of this year’s event is the change of the type of tool students use when building their vehicle to compete in the Power Tool Drag Race.

The Power Tool Drag Race is a unique opportunity available to students, who are interested in problem solving, creative design, research and development, and engineering. This year students must power their vehicle using a 120-volt angle grinder. This event is coordinated and sponsored by the UWRF Agricultural Industry Club.
Each year it takes over a hundred volunteers to ensure successful contests. Faculty and staff from the CAFES serve as chairs for each of the contests.

CAFES students volunteer their time as student chairs and assist on the contest day.
Rachel Kroeplien, an agricultural education major from Sheboygan Falls, Wis., is serving as this year’s contest coordinator.
The assistant coordinator is Leeann Hitsman, an agricultural education major from Cleveland, Wis. Tim Buttles serves as the faculty chair for the contest and Fay Westberg of the agricultural education department assists with overall contest preparations.

In the fall of 1912 the agriculture department began teaching in a total of three rooms in South Hall and with two and one-half instructors. Fifty-three men enrolled for the first school year. To learn more about the Centennial Celebration visit the CAFES website at www.uwrf.edu/CAFES/CentennialCelebration.