National Champs in Crops Judging, Knowledge Bowl

The Kansas State University crops judging team continued a successful run at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture judging conference recently, capturing its 15th title in the past 26 years of the spring competition.The team also posted a first: They placed first in the knowledge bowl competition, marking its first-ever win in that separate contest.

Landon Trout, a junior from Scott City, Kansas was the individual national champion of the crops contest, capturing individual wins in three categories – laboratory practice, agronomic exam and math practical – and second place in another – plant and seed identification.

K-State seniors Ashley Chandler (Neodesha, Kansas) and Renae Sinclair (Alamosa, Colorado) placed third and fourth, respectively. Chandler was second in exam and math.

K-State beat 22 teams for the win in crops judging. Iowa State was the team runner-up and the University of Wisconsin placed third.

Other members of K-State’s crops judging team are Quinten Bina (Pilsen, Kansas); Leno Caldieraro (Greenville, Illinois); Carson Orpin (Canton, Kansas); and Molly Kane (Paola, Kansas).

In the knowledge bowl, K-State beat the University of Wisconsin-River Falls for the national title, while West Texas A&M was third. K-State lost an early round match, but rallied through the consolation rounds to win the double-elimination contest.

Knowledge bowl questions cover many areas of agriculture, including crop and soil science, animal science, economics and agricultural mechanics. Chandler was the team captain; Trout, Caldieraro, Sinclair and Isaac Nelson (Shawnee, Kansas) were the other team members.

The NACTA judging conference capped the 2024 spring season for K-State’s crops team. Earlier in the season, K-State won the NACTA regional contest in Curtis, Nebraska; and the Southern Plains contest in Hutchinson. Last year, the team won the NACTA fall conference national title – its 32nd win in that contest.

Additional crops team members include Carissa Sohm (Rolla, Kansas); Lakin Giager (Parsons, Kansas); Ryleigh Carr (Ault, Colorado); Ashlynn Hartman (Pawnee City, Nebraska); Faith Winkelmann (Seward, Nebraska); Benton Kerr (Manhattan, Kansas); Monica Short (Claflin, Kansas) and Jenson Schoenfeld (Oakley, Kansas).

The team is coached by K-State assistant professor of crop science Rachel Veenstra, who is assisted by agronomy instructor Sarah Frye.

More information about K-State’s Department of Agronomy and the crops judging team is available online. Those wishing to support K-State’s crops judging team can do so through the KSU Foundation,