News Release

Collegiate Crops Team from U of M Crookston Finishes at the Top in Kansas City, Mo., and in Chicago

By ltollefs on
Friday, December 3, 2010

The Collegiate Crops Judging Team from the University of Minnesota, Crookston had two crops_team_2010.jpgsecond place finishes at the national crops judging contests held recently. Contests held in Kansas City, Mo., on November 16, and in Chicago, Ill., on November 20 yielded second place finishes to the team from Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Members of the team from the U of M, Crookston included: Sophomore John Plass, Tulelake, Calif.; Sophomore Andrew Gorentz, Dent, Minn.; and Senior Jon Borge, Ada, Minn, as well as alternate team member: Junior Marc Walter, Plummer, Minn.

The crops contests integrate a student's knowledge of agronomy into three categories: seed analysis, grain grading and crop and weed identification.

In Kansas City, individual finishes included a first place finish overall by Plass with first place finishes in identification and seed analysis and a third place finish in grain grading. Gorentz finished fourth overall with fifth place finish in identification, tied for fifth in seed analysis, and tied for fourth in grain grading. Borge, who placed seventh overall, finished fourth in identification, tied for fifth in seed analysis, and eighth in grain grading. Out of 5,400 possible points, the team from Crookston missed a first-place finish by only 23 points.

The team's scores improved in the Chicago contest, but the team from Kansas State University came out on top, finishing 66.2 points ahead of the team from the Crookston campus. Results from the contest in Chicago included a third place finish overall by Plass, earning a fourth in identification, fifth in seed analysis, and fourth in grain grading. Gorentz, who placed sixth overall, finished sixth in identification, second in seed analysis, and eighth in grain grading. Borge placed fourth overall, earning a ninth place in identification, third in seed analysis, and third in grain grading.

The intense preparation for the contests begins early in the fall semester. Crops teams from the Crookston campus have placed in the top three more than 25 times over their history. This year marks the first year for Rob Proulx, agronomy instructor, to serve as coach for the team.  He was also responsible for compiling the rules and regulations book used for national contests in both Chicago and Kansas City.

The Chicago contest began in 1923 and has been held every year except in 1929 and during World War II (1942-'46). The Kansas City Contest was held the first time in 1929 and has been held annually through 1941, with the exception of 1942- 46.

Today the University of Minnesota, Crookston delivers 29 bachelor's degree programs, 18 minors, and more than 40 concentrations, including several online degrees, in the areas of agriculture and natural resources; business; liberal arts and education; and math, science and technology.  With an enrollment of about 1,400 undergraduates from more than 25 countries and 40 states, the Crookston campus offers a supportive, close-knit atmosphere that leads to a prestigious University of Minnesota degree.  "Small Campus. Big Degree."  To learn more, visit

In the photo (l to r): John Plass, Marc Walter, Coach Rob Proulx, Jon Borge, and Andrew Gorentz.