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SHSU Wins National Agriculture Sweepstakes Competition

April 22, 2011
SHSU Media Contact: Julia May

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A group of Sam Houston State University agriculture students won the Sweepstakes Award at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Contests in California last week. This is the first year the team has attended the national competition.


Students from Sam Houston State University's Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences recently won the annual Sweepstakes Award at the 2011 North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Judging Contests at Modesto Junior College in Modesto, Calif.

The Sweepstakes Competition is the contest’s top prize, awarded to the top collegiate institution from results in seven team and individual contests in agriculture.

SHSU competed in five of the seven contests April 14-16 and placed in all five competitions along with winning the team competition in agribusiness management and agricultural computers. SHSU also had two first place individual competition winners.

The students prepared for the competitions practicing at least four nights a week for three hours each night.

“The students really worked hard and I am extremely proud of their efforts,” said Michelle Santiago, co-coach of the agribusiness competition teams. “I definitely feel our students are reaching a higher level of academic excellence.”

“The honors awarded at NACTA are a significant accomplishment for SHSU and the Department of Agricultural and Industrial Sciences,” said Stanley Kelly, chair of the department.

“This was the first year attending NACTA by the agribusiness academic competition team at SHSU, which was just founded by faculty members Michael Lau and Michelle Santiago during the 2010 fall semester. The team also had a first place individual, Rachel Newton, at the Southern Agricultural Economics Association Student Quiz Bowl Competition in Corpus Christi in February,” he said.

Santiago, Lau, and Brice Mund coached the competing teams from SHSU at the 2011 NACTA Judging Contest.

Team awards included: Agribusiness Management, 1st Place; Agricultural Computers, 1st Place; Agricultural Knowledge Bowl, 4th Place; Livestock Judging, 2nd Place; Dairy Cattle Judging, 3rd Place.

Individual awards included: Spencer Sikes, 1st Place Agribusiness Management; Elizabeth Collins, 1st Place Livestock Judging; Robert "Bud" Matus III, 3rd Place Agribusiness Management; Rachel Newton, 2nd Place Agricultural Computers;
Samantha Spears, 3rd Place Agricultural Computers; Matthew Dean, 3rd Place Livestock Judging.

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