Posted: March 23, 2019

Eight teams with students from the Block and Bridle and Dairy Science Club competed and took first, second, third, fifth, seventh and tenth overall.

Penn State students who competed successfully at the 2019 NESA event.

Penn State students who competed successfully at the 2019 NESA event.

Penn State University earned high university honors at the 2019 Northeast Affiliate Affiliate (NESA) student affiliate competitions of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS) and American Dairy Science Association (ADSA), hosted by the University of Delaware in February. In addition to first place in the Institution Category, Penn State teams took first, second, third, fifth, seventh, and tenth place for the top overall teams. The overall rankings take into account placings in livestock judging, quiz bowl and undergraduate paper presentations.

Eight universities competed with a total of 33 teams. In addition to Penn State, other schools represented included Rutgers University, University of Rhode Island, Delaware Valley University, University of Massachusetts, University of Rhode Island, University of Connecticut, and University of Maine. Penn State students were members of Penn State's Block and Bridle and Dairy Science Clubs and were accompanied by Dr. Danielle Smarsh, Assistant Professor of Equine Science; and Dale Olver, Assistant Teaching Professor.

In livestock judging Penn State teams were first, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh. Individually, Daniel Kitchen placed third; Taylor Wolfe, fifth; Rachel Stoltzfus, eighth. In quiz bowl teams from Penn State took second, fifth, sixth and seventh.

Three students placed in the top ten for their paper presentations. Molly Henley placed third with her talk about the Beef Quality Assurance (BQA) program, Zach Curtis earned fifth with his discussion about mycotoxins, and Alysha Sweitzer placed sixth out of the 33 talks with her presentation about African Swine Fever.

The outstanding senior at the competition was Abigail Jantzi, Clymer, NY. Abigail carries a very high academic average, was a member of Penn State's 2017 national champion dairy judging team, and served as vice-president of the Dairy Science Club.

Members of the Penn State teams were:

* Team A - Austin Brown, Saegertown, PA; Caleigh Anderson, Saltsburg, PA, Nicole Ditzler, Fredericksburg, PA and Kelly Forbes, Pittsburgh, PA

* Team B - Molly Hensley, Kennerdell, PA; Kelly MacRae. Grove City, PA; Rachel Stoltzfus, Coatesville, PA; and Emily Supancik, New Milford, PA (second place in quiz bowl, third place livestock judging)

* Team C - Scarlett Loya, Washington, PA; Ethan Stas, Latrobe, PA; Taylor Wolfe, Milton, PA; and Annie Schmidt, Garrett Park, MD (tied for fifth in quiz bowl, seventh place in livestock)

* Team D - Justin Ayers, Annville, PA; Jake Ritenour, Acme, PA; Zoe Buckingham, Honesdale, PA; and Stephanie Takitch, Latrobe, PA (fourth place)

* Team E - Shoshana Brody, Baltimore, MD; Megan Moran, Tunkhannock, PA; Dylan Dietz, McVeytown, PA; and Morgan Brumbaugh, James Creek, PA (tied for fifth in quiz bowl, fifth in livestock)

* Team F - Zach Curtis, Waymart, PA; Morgan Hultman, Russell, PA; Samantha Gollmer, Albion, PA; and Greg Norris, Westhampton, MA

* Team G - Alysha Sweitzer, Wellsville, PA; Michael Morgan, Shirleysburg, PA; Daniel Kitchen, Danville, PA; and Josh Beam, Elverson, PA (seventh place in quiz bowl, first in livestock)

* Team H - Lucas Watson, Exton, PA; Larry Eyre, Northhampton, PA; Caleb McGee, Clearfield, PA; and Megan Wilmot, Cherry Valley, NY (sixth place)

Dr. Terry Etherton, Head of the Department of Animal Science, said, "This outstanding showing by our students in this academic competition demonstrates their tremendous commitment to excellence and the hard work and dedication of our faculty in preparing them. It is very rewarding that Penn State has excelled at NESA for many years. I congratulate all those who participated and supported our teams."