General knowledge of all things agricultural allowed members of Iowa Central Community College's Postsecondary Agricultural Students organization to succeed in competitions at Iowa Falls and St. Cloud, Minn.
In addition, Nick Davis, was elected as a state vice president, the first time an ICCC student has done so.
At the state competition in Iowa Falls, one of the two PAS teams tied for third place, allowing Davis, Allyson Brugioni, Chris Spence, Tyler Stockwell and Rory Sterling to advance to the national conference, where the team placed fourth. Brugioni also placed in the equine category at nationals.
Mike Richards, PAS advisor and ICCC ag instructor, said he could see the enthusiasm and momentum building.
"Then, we beat the other Iowa school (Des Moines Area Community College," said Davis.
The schools that finished ahead of ICCC, Richards said, were all four-year schools.
Because of the variety of questions asked, it's nearly impossible for team members to study or prepare for the contests, he said. They just have to possess the knowledge, he said.
"It has to be somebody who knows the lifestyle," Richards said. "Plus, I would say that (it helped) that Rory (Sterling) is a little bit older and has had some other experiences."
At 31, Sterling is the senior member of the group, and as such, takes some good-natured ribbing. But all of the competitors come from rural backgrounds, and all but Oklahoman Chris Spence are from Iowa. In addition, all were FFA members in high school.
"They all get along well together," Richards said.
At the state level, PAS members placed in the following categories:
College Bowl Team No. 1 (tied for third place to advance to nationals) - Chris Spence, Shelby Keyes, Drew Guerink, Pat McGuire and Rory Sterling;
College Bowl Team No. 2 (seventh place) - Tyler Stockwell, Nick Davis, Bailey Walrod, Spencer Nerhus and Allyson Brugioni;
Crop specialist (12th place) - Tyler Stockwell and Spencer Nerhus;
Beef specialist (third place) - Devon Bringleson, Lexi Hanson and Bailey Walrod;
Sheep specialist (third place) - Chris Spence, Shelby Keyes and Pat McGuire;
Ag sales - Nick Davis, fifth place, and Tyler Stockwell, ninth place;
Equine - Shelby Keyes, 14th place, and Allison Brugioni, 17th place;
Impromptu speaking - Chris Spence, fourth place; and
Prepared speaking - Alli Rinard, fourth place.