Lake Land College agriculture students to compete at national conference

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Michael Grovier, Co-Managing Editor

On Mar. 17-21, 2020, Lake Land College will be sending thirteen students to compete at the Professional Agricultural Student Organization’s National Conference in Minneapolis. In order to represent Lake Land College at the national level, competitors or teams must place first in their category at the state competition. Categories with Lake Land Representatives include Swine, Sheep, Landscape, Horticulture, and Impromptu Speaking.

At Lake Land College, Professional Agricultural Students, PAS, acts as an extension of the Agricultural Division. Club President Taylor Hartke shared that instructors use the club as a way to highlight skills learned in classes, while also providing students with the opportunity to gain valuable professional and career-readiness skills. “PAS gives an outlet for students to gain those skills needed in resume building and employment interview, but also to specialize in livestock industry, horticulture, crops, soils or really whatever you’re looking at going into.”

One strength that has led the club to continuous success is their strong focus on mentoring. Using past experiences, returning members are encouraged to mentor others and give feedback in their specific events. Hartke believes that this is something Lake Land College’s students excel at, which gives them the upper hand in this level of competition. On her competition experience, she stated that “It’s a really cool opportunity to be surrounded by so many outstanding young professionals in agriculture. I know all those that are competing here in Minnesota are extremely excited to represent Lake Land.”

PAS has provided many students, including Hartke, with the opportunity to push their limits and grow in their personal and professional skills. While it’s always stressful to take your abilities to the next level, Hartke believes that students should never be afraid to try new things. Her personal motto stands true: “There’s no comfort in the growth zone, and there’s no growth in the comfort zone.” While the national competition means the end of PAS’ competitive season, it is only the beginning of a successful career for many Lake Land College students.

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