Oklahoma Higher Education Campus E-Clips sponsored by the Communicators Council

May 2011

OPSU Crops Judging Team Excels in National Contest


Kansas State University, Iowa State University, the University of Illinois, and... Oklahoma Panhandle State University? That's right, another OPSU student group has proven that they can compete against and even beat their peers from "elite" institutions! The 2011 Crops Judging team won fourth place in the nation just behind the three much larger schools, and Dr. Curtis Bensch, assistant professor of agronomy and the team's coach, said many of the people attending the awards banquet were surprised when his students were named the fourth-place team.

Bensch took Casey DeBock, Kala Belson, Johnathan Bentley, and Camron Nisly to Modesto, Calif. recently to compete at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) contest, realizing his dream of restarting a competitive crops judging team. Out of four parts of the contest, the team placed in the top five in three of those, taking second in the plant/seed identification portion. Bensch said, "Our new greenhouse helps immensely. It's very useful to grow our own plants so students can see them at every stage of growth." In addition, DeBock and Belson scored ninth and 10th overall respectively as individuals.

Once again, OPSU students have established that a high-quality education is not dependent upon the size or the national reputation of an institution. Thanks to dedicated instructors like Bensch, a superior education is available right here in the heart of Texas County, Okla.

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