Dordt College News

Dordt College Ag Club shines at Iowa competition, qualifies 18 for nationals

February 18, 2013

The Dordt College Ag Club showed up in force at the Spring Iowa PAS (Post-Secondary Agriculture Students) Conference in Ankeny, Iowa, on February 4 and 5. Eight Dordt teams placed within the top five in their categories and several students earned top individual honors.

Dordt sent 22 students who competed in College Bowl, Swine Specialist, Beef Specialist, Dairy Specialist, Crops Specialist, Equine, Precision Ag, Sales, and Employment Interviews contests.

In team competitions, Dordt’s College Bowl teams No. 1 and No. 2 took fourth and third place respectively. The team competing in the Swine Specialist, Beef Specialist, and Crops Specialist contests all took first place, and the three teams competing in the Dairy Specialist contest took first, second, and third place.

Seven students took individual first place honors: senior Drew De Vries (Maurice, Iowa) for Livestock Employment Interview, senior Brian Dieleman (Kent Bridge, Ontario) for Swine Specialist, senior Holly Enerson (Estherville, Iowa) for Feed/Animal Health Employment Interview, senior Jon Luetchens (Murdock, Nebraska) for Crop Employment Interview, senior Lewis Nighswonger (Alva, Oklahoma) for Beef Specialist, junior Vern Oostra (Hull, Iowa) for Sales, and senior Joshua Vander Well (Ontario, California) for Dairy Specialist.

Eighteen students qualified for the National Competition to be held in Louisville, Kentucky, March 18 to 21. Eight of Dordt’s 10 teams qualified for Nationals. These students are senior Mitchell Byl (Hull, Iowa), senior Erin Davelaar (Brandon, South Dakota), De Vries, Dieleman, Enerson, senior Karina Fast (Bingham Lake, Minnesota), senior Michael Gallagher (Hornick, Iowa), senior Matthew Kamp (Manhattan, Montana), Luetchens, junior Parker Merritt (Mason City, Iowa), Nighswonger, Oostra, sophomore Brady Rhoda (Oakdale, California), junior Casey Rhoda (Oakdale, California), sophomore Quinlan Schrock (Wellman, Iowa), Vander Well, senior Curtis Van Grouw (Rock Valley, Iowa), and senior Caleb Wubben (Clara City, Minnesota).

Oostra was also elected President of Iowa PAS, a process that required an application, a recommendation from a professor, and a series of interviews with the nomination committee.

“I am looking forward to being part of such a great organization like PAS and being able to network with so many people throughout the agriculture community,” said Oostra. “I am looking forward to growing as a leader and as a member of a team.” 

PAS is one of 10 career and technical student organizations approved by the U.S. Department of Education as an integral part of career and technical education. Their motto is “uniting education and industry in agriculture.” This year, more than 300 students from Iowa competed. This is the second time the Dordt Ag Club participated in the conference.

Dordt College is one of only a handful of Christian colleges in North America to offer a four-year agriculture program. Over the past several years, all Dordt agriculture students have found positions within six months of graduating, most much sooner. Graduates enter careers not only in farming and technical service support but also in government, finance, and international development. Learn more at

Complete listing of Dordt College’s Ag Club 2013 PAS Conference results

Team competitions
Beef Specialist
Dordt Team #1 – 1st place
Holly Enerson (2nd individual), Lewis Nighswonger (1st individual), Quinlan Schrock (5th individual)

Dordt Team #2 – 9th place
Mitchell Palmer (freshman from Elm Creek, Nebraska), Jed Terhaar (sophomore from Winterset, Iowa), Cody Williams (sophomore from Bronson, Iowa)

College Bowl
Dordt Team #2 – 3rd place
Drew De Vries, Vern Oostra, Josh Vander Well, Curtis Van Grouw, Caleb Wubben

Dordt Team #1 – 4th place
Erin Davelaar, Holly Enerson, Michael Gallagher, Jon Luetchens, Parker Merritt

Crops Specialist
Dordt Team #1 – 1st place
Michael Gallagher (5th individual), Jon Luetchens (2nd individual), Parker Merritt (3rd individual)

Dairy Specialist
Dordt Team #1 – 1st place
Erin Davelaar (2nd individual), Josh Vander Well (1st individual), Curtis Van Grouw (3rd individual)

Dordt Team #2 – 2nd place
Vern Oostra (4th individual), Brady Rhoda (6th individual), Casey Rhoda (5th individual)

Dordt Team #3 – 3rd place
Karina Fast (8th individual), Matthew Kamp (9th individual), Caleb Wubben (7th individual)

Swine Specialist
Dordt Team #1 – 1st place
Mitchell Byl (4th individual high honor), Drew De Vries (3rd individual), Brian Dieleman (1st individual)

Individual events
Ag Business/Sales Employment Interviews
Michael Gallagher – 2nd place

Crop Production Employment Interviews
Matthew Kamp – 8th place
Jon Luetchens – 1st place
Mitchell Palmer – 5th place

Dairy Production Employment Interviews
Erin Davelaar – 4th place
Brady Rhoda – 8th place
Casey Rhoda – 6th place
Josh Vander Well – 3rd place
Curtis Van Grouw – 2nd place
Caleb Wubben – 9th place

Mitchell Byl – 16th place
Jed Terhaar– 10th place

Feed/Animal Health Employment Interviews
Holly Enerson – 1st place

Livestock Production Employment Interviews
Drew De Vries – 1st place
Lewis Nighswonger – 3rd place
Kyle Scholten (junior from Inwood, Iowa) – 7th place
Quinlan Schrock – 4th place
Cody Williams – 9th place

Precision Ag
Brian Dieleman – 9th place
Parker Merritt – 8th place

Karina Fast – 7th place
Vern Oostra – 1st place

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