Ridgewater Agriculture Advisor Receives National Honor
April 18, 2023
Nearly all 26 Ridgewater students who attend national competitions place in top 10
WILLMAR and HUTCHINSON, MN – Five Ridgewater Agriculture students recently placed in the top three at the National Professional Agricultural Students (PAS) conference held March 15-18 in Des Moines, IA. In addition, Ridgewater PAS advisor and Agriculture instructor Curt Yoose became the 2023 National PAS Outstanding Advisor.
Twenty-six Ridgewater students competed in 15+ different categories with about 400 other participants. Twenty-five of the Ridgewater students placed in the top 10 in at least one category.
Three students became second-place winners in their challenges: Emma Ascheman (Benson), Career Planning – Agribusiness Systems; Hayden Jensen (Hutchinson), Career Progress – Agribusiness Systems; Lauren Huchel (Cloquet), Employment Interview.
Also taking podium honors were third-place finishers Annabelle Pronschinske (Rollingstone), in the Career Planning – Animal Systems category, and Ascheman, in Prepared Speakers in Agriculture.
“It is great to see our students do so well,” said Ridgewater PAS Advisor Curt Yoose. “Many of them invested lots of time and effort into practicing and perfecting their competition. We are so proud of how they represented not only themselves, but also Ridgewater College and the agriculture industry in general.”
Warrior Top 10 Finishers
Ag Sales: 5, Tristan Van Dam, (Jasper); 7, Isaac Striemer, (Welcome)
Agronomy Specialist Team: 5, Striemer, Hayden Jensen (Hutchinson), Joe Carlson (Litchfield); 9, Isaac Starke (Hutchinson), Evan Gillham (Princeton), Kait Diederich (St. Bonifacius)
Agronomy Specialist Individual: 10, Striemer
Ag Machinery Service Technician: 7, Caleb Hoff (Sacred Heart), Van Dam; 10, Luke Kroska (St. Cloud)
Career planning – Agribusiness Systems: 2, Ascheman; 7, Taylor Brandt (Clontarf)
Career Progress – Agribusiness Systems: 2, Jensen
Career Planning – Animal Systems: 3, Pronschinske
Dairy Specialist Team: 8, Hunter Michalowski (Rollingstone), Craig Willenbring (Richmond), Payton Nathe (Melrose); 10, Pronschinske, Matthew Middendorf (Sauk Centre), Cody Brott (St. Cloud)
Employment Interview – Forestry and Natural Resources: 2, Lauren Huchel (Cloquet)
Equine Specialist Individual: 10, Renee Schneider (Cold Spring)
Precision Ag Specialist: 5, Huchel
Sheep and Goat Specialist Team: 4, Aidan Rucker (Oronoco), Tyler Kreidermacher (Rollingstone), Gable Speltz (Altura)
Sheep and Goat Specialist Individual: 8, Speltz
Speakers for Ag – Impromptu: 8, Caleb Hoff (Sacred Heart)
Speakers for Ag – Prepared: 3, Ascheman
Swine Specialist: 7, Ascheman, Cadence Larson (Benson), Brandt
National Outstanding Advisor
Ridgewater’s Curt Yoose of Spicer was named the 2023 National PAS Outstanding Advisor at the national conference. Yoose, who has taught in the Agriculture Department for 25 years, primarily teaches in the Agronomy and Precision Agriculture programs.
“Curt has a proven track record of providing a high-level engagement with students in our Agriculture programs and is a statewide leader in agriculture education advocacy,” said Jeff Miller, Ridgewater dean of instruction. “He is committed to making strong community relations with our industry partners and the ag community in general. We are proud to have Curt as a member of the Ridgewater College faculty.”
“It is an honor to receive this award, but I cannot take solo credit,” Yoose said. “This is not possible without three key ingredients: passionate students who are driven to seek knowledge and opportunity; a supportive institution like Ridgewater that allows for these experiences to happen, and great coworkers. We have 12 other instructors in our department who are just as deserving, especially co-advisor Kari Slinden.”
Slinden modestly stated that it is indeed Yoose who is deserving of the award.
For more information about Ridgewater Agriculture programs, go to www.ridgewater.edu/agriculture.
Ridgewater College is no stranger to honors at the Professional Agricultural Students (PAS) National Conference. This year, Ridgewater PAS advisor Curt Yoose, center, was named 2023 Outstanding Advisor. He celebrated the honor with outgoing national PAS officers from Ridgewater College: Vice President Makayla Breth of Albany and President Bryce Thompson of Buffalo.