Submitted by UW-River Falls

Teams from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls took second place in the soils competition and fifth place in the crops competition at the annual North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference at Murray State University in Murray, Ky., April 10-13. Soils team member Molly McIlquham of Chippewa Falls also placed third individually.

The second place UWRF soils team includes students McIlquham, Ben Pierce of River Falls, Aricka Roberson of Mazeppa, Minn., and Paul Tietz of Waunakee. In addition to McIlquham individually ranking third place amongst 88 total individuals, other notable individual placements are Mark Kortbein of Warrens, eighth place; Sara Behling of Cumberland, 10th place; Brady Goettl of Cadott, 11th place; and Tietz, 13th place.

Students who also competed individually include Briar Golden of Arcadia, Sydney Lance of Mukwonago, William Lenzen of Chaska, Minn., Laura Ringeisen of Red Wing, Minn., Danielle Spence of Sussex, Paige Stofferahn-Muck of Rapid City, S.D., and Morgan Wels of Mankato, Minn.

In the soils judging competition, students were tested on the soil morphology, soil profile characteristics, soil classification and soil interpretation of four different soil sites. Team coaches are Holly Dolliver, professor of geology and soil science and department chair of Plant and Earth Science, and Bill Anderson, professor emeritus of soil science.

The UWRF crops team placed fifth out of 15 teams and include Sabrina Huebl of Waseca, Minn.; Kortbein; Derek Lenzen of Chaska, Minn.; and Shannon Troye of South St. Paul, Minn. Students who competed individually are Jaden Gruetzmacher of New London, Cole Jakupciak of Clayton, Marcus Koester of Red Wing, Minn., and Anthony Rittmeyer of Arlington.

In the crops contest, students were tested with an exam on the production of major grain and forage crops, agronomy-related practical math problems, practical lab stations, and plant and seed identification. Veronica Justen, associate professor of crop science, is the coach of the UWRF Crops Team.

For more information, email Dolliver at or Justen at