Although rain moved us indoors, we had a great turnout for the 2016 Weed Identification Contest. This year's winner in the Professional Division is long-time participant Cindy Recker of Peosta, IA. Cindy, a member of ISU's Crop Judging Team when she was a student, correctly identified 37 of 40 weeds. Lowell Sandell of Lincoln, NE (2015 Champion) finished second with a score of 35. We always enjoy when amateur weed geeks beat the professionals. Lowell worked for Weed Science Extension at the University of Nebraska for several years and now works for Valent. Guess it shows Cyclones are better than Cornhuskers regardless of training.
Landon VanDyke, a graduate of ISU's Agronomy Department, was first in the General Division with a great score of 34 out of 35 weeds. Karen Stiles of Des Moines, a marine biologist relocated to IA who decided she needed a new hobby, finished second with 33 pts. Henric Krause literally blew the competition out of the water in the Future Agronomist (Youth) division, properly identifying 15 out of 25 weeds. Caleb Grossnickle showed who knows the weeds in the Grossnickle household by finishing 2nd in the youth division, whereas father Dean finished 4th in the Professional division.
We appreciate the assistance provided by Jim Lux and Brooke Hoey for helping make the contest run smoothly. Hope to see everyone back next year.