Virginia Tech students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences garnered high marks in the 2015 National Weed Science Contest held at The Ohio State University this summer.

The contest challenges students in four events: weed identification, herbicide symptomology, sprayer calibration, and "farmer problems." This year the Virginia Tech team from the Department of Plant Pathology, Physiology, and Weed Science placed first in the Northeast Region. 

John Brewer of Pulaski, Tennessee, received first place individually, followed by second place Dan Tekiela, of Wood Dale, Illinois, and third place Sandeep Rana, of Hisar, Harayana, India. Brewer also came in second nationally, out of more than 200 students.

“This is a great testament to the amazing students we have in our department,” said Jacob Barney, an assistant professor. “We couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Virginia Tech has won the Northeastern Weed Contest the previous three years they competed.

The students were coached by Associate Professor Shawn Askew, Barney, and Michael Flessner, an assistant professor. Team members were primarily turf and ecology students who stood out despite competing in a contest targeting mostly agronomy students in an agronomic weed contest.

The department plans on hosting the Northeast Regional Weed Contest in 2016.



Written by Amy Loeffler

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