Two School of Ag Students Finish First at National PAS Competition
March 26, 2013
MACOMB, IL – Two students from the Western Illinois University School of Agriculture finished first in their individual competitions last week at the National Postsecondary Agricultural Student (PAS) Organization Conference in Louisville (KY). Riley Hintzsche, senior (Lindenwood, IL), won first place in the agriculture education employment interview category, as well as first place in the agriculture education career program contest. Daniel Mitchell, junior (Colchester, IL), won first place in the agriculture equipment service employment interview category. Hintzsche was also elected the National PAS vice president for 2013 during the national organization's annual conference.
According to Michelle Howe, co-adviser for the Western's Collegiate FFA/PAS group and assistant director of Career Services at WIU, other students who attended and competed at the national-level competition include: Sarah Jane Ziegler, junior (La Harpe, IL), who placed fourth in the crop production employment interview category; and Ben Shriver, junior (Ursa, IL), Sarah Anne Farmer, junior (Monmouth, IL), Ziegler and Mitchell, who competed in soils and crops contests.
Jennifer Honnold, senior (Oakland, IL), also completed a year of service as the National PAS vice president at the March 18-21 conference.
School of Ag Professor Andy Baker (who is also a co-adviser for WIU's WIU Collegiate FFA /PAS chapter) said the students were able to attend the conference in Louisville last week through financial support from WIU's School of Agriculture, Birkey's Farm Store (Macomb, IL) and Seventh Son Termite and Pest Management, Inc. (Macomb, IL).
"The outcomes of the 2013 National PAS Conference reaffirms the type of students we are blessed with in the School of Agriculture. They are dedicated, knowledgeable, competitive and selfless leaders," Baker noted. "We could not have asked for a more professional group to represent us. I cannot say enough about Michelle Howe and her dedication to this organization and its members. The results of the past two years demonstrate her deep dedication, which can be seen in how well this group performs at the state and national levels."
Howe also praised the students' preparation for the national-level contests.
"The students worked very hard to compete in these career program areas. They were studying and preparing for their contests during their free time at the conference, which shows the level of dedication these students have toward their career program areas. We are also very honored to have Riley represent the entire PAS Organization on a national level. WIU has had two national officers in the past two years, which is a major accomplishment for a chapter that has only been active for three years," she said.
For more information about the WIU PAS chapter, contact Howe at (309) 298-1838 or MC-Howe@wiu.edu or Baker at (309) 298-1246 or AJ-Baker@wiu.edu. For more information about the PAS Organization or about the conference, visit www.nationalpas.org. Learn more about the WIU School of Agriculture at www.wiu.edu/ag.