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St. Ansgar tops at Beef Extravaganza

By Jean Caspers-Simmet

Date Modified: 01/19/2014 8:13 PM

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AMES, Iowa — Olivia Bisbee, Matt Levan and Ben Weis, all of St. Ansgar FFA, each will receive $1,000 in scholarship money for taking home the top prize at the Beef Scholarship Extravaganza hosted by the Iowa Cattlemen's Foundation.

The trio won third place in the event last year. Their FFA advisor is Jim Green.

Beef Extravaganza was held on the Iowa State University campus, and 27 teams competed. The scholarship event, which is for students interested in cattle production, involved 70 high school students from around Iowa. They competed for cash scholarship awards for the top four teams that totaled $7,650. Students were challenged at 10 stations to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.

"This contest is a very good experience," said Bisbee. "I think that if people have a chance, they should compete in it. The contest gives you skills for the future, and it also gives you more of an appreciation for the beef industry. I really enjoyed competing in it, and I have learned so much more about the beef industry, too."

"It was awesome to be able to spend a day doing different things in the beef industry and be able to get a scholarship out of the deal," said Weis. "It will really help next year."

The second place team was ETC Cattle Company of West Dubuque. Cory Knepper and Thomas Tittle, both of Cascade, and Eric Rea, of Bernard, each received $750.

The third place team of Kenton Lain, of Corydon, and Cendra Sebolt, of Seymour, represented Wayne and Seymour FFAs. They each will receive $750. The fourth place team of Denison High Schools seniors Anna Baughman, of Denison, and Jane Hoffmann, of Deloit, each won $450.

Scholarship dollars won at the Extravaganza can be used at any university or community college. In addition, if the student will be attending ISU's College of Agriculture, Kirkwood Community College, Hawkeye Community College, Muscatine Community College, Des Moines Area Community College or Iowa Lakes Community College, they will receive additional matching scholarships.

Team scores at the 10 stations were added to determine the winners. Each station tested specific skills and knowledge of the students. Teams scoring the highest number of points at each station also were awarded plaques, which were sponsored by Farm Credit Services of America.