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Iowa Central PAS Events Qualify For Nationals

    by Emilie Jenson, Public Information Office
    Posted on 3/1/2024

A group of Iowa Central agriculture students will be spending their spring break testing their knowledge and seeing where they rank among other students in the ad field nationwide.

Iowa Central’s Professional Agricultural Students (PAS) organization is a student led organization that allows students involved develop skills that will directly benefit them in the workplace, leadership skills, and the ability to network with other future leaders in the ag industry.

Iowa Central’s PAS students attended the state conference in Moravia in February where they had the opportunity to network with ag students from across Iowa and participate in competitions in various ag related categories such as Agronomy, Beef Specialist, Crop Specialist, Conservation, Landscape Specialties, Machinery Service and Beef, Dairy, Swine and Poultry teams.

“At conferences the students compete in simulated real-world experiences where they put the skills they have learned in the classroom to test against other students from around the country,” said Terry Coleman, Iowa Central agriculture instructor and the group’s adviser.

Sophomore Animal Science major Nick Kaska, Iowa Central’s PAS chapter president, qualified for nationals for the second year in a row. Kaska won the ag sales competition at the 2023 national conference.  He qualified this year by receiving first place in the ag sales employment interview at state, and as a member of the beef team.

Kaska appreciates the real-world experience of the Employment Interview category.

“You put together a resume and cover letter and do a job application online, like you are applying for a real job,” said Kaska. “Then at conference you do the interview.”

The various teams complete case studies, an individual test and research a current event on their topic.

“The beef teams work together to figure out how to manage a farm,” said Kaska. “The current event part really gets you thinking on your feet because you only get about 45 minutes to prepare.”

Hanna Boekelman, a sophomore agriculture business major and PAS chapter secretary also qualified for nationals as a member of the beef team. She enjoys the learning experiences at PAS conferences.

“I like how we have hands on learning and that the things you learn can be applied to what you do in the industry,” said Boekelman.

“You can really see growth from the students who are involved,” said Coleman. “It pushes them out of their comfort zone and puts them into experiences that are often difficult to duplicate in the classroom. The leadership, speaking, and networking skills that they develop from their participation will set them apart from others once they are in the workforce.”

The national conference will be held March 11-14 in Springfield, Illinois. Iowa Central will have competitors in the beef and poultry team divisions and individuals in Ag Sales Employment Interview and Agribusiness Career Progress categories.

 Iowa Central PAS State Results: Poultry Team (Logan Ozmun, Maggie Norgaard, and Aaron Noh), first place; Beef Team (Nick Kaska, Hannah Boekelman, Ellie Noonan), fifth place; Chloe Hurtado, Ag Promotion and Marketing, third place; Nick Kaska, Ag Sales Employment Interview, first place; Hailey cook, Ag Sales, fourth place; Haylie Fry, Ag Sales, fifth place.





Iowa Central PAS Events Qualify For Nationals

I have enjoyed meeting a lot of new friends and hanging out with them from other states or countries that come and learn at Iowa Central.

Ian Oliver
Criminal Justice
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