Spring Hill Ag Issues Team, coached by K-State Olathe, Wins State Competition

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

by Kristi Northcutt

The Spring Hill High School Agricultural Issues team, coached by Kansas State University Olathe, is advancing to the national competition this fall in Indianapolis, Ind.

The team won the Kansas Ag Issues/FFA competition in Manhattan on May 30. The team, led by Micheal Strohschein, director of K-12 Science Education Partnerships at K-State Olathe, will face off against more than 25 other teams at the national level in October.

Student team members include Naoma Forkell, Sarah Hammond, Taylor Harrison, Lindsey Mateer, Kristen Murray and Krysteena Redman. Forkell, Harrison and Murray plan to attend K-State in the fall; Mateer will attend Baker University; and Hammond and Redman will be juniors at Spring Hill High School. They will all meet in Olathe in the coming months to prepare for the national competition.

The national-qualifying team is the fifth that Strohschein has taught and/or coached and the third to advance to nationals. He brings 10 years of educational and program management experience to K-State Olathe, having also taught in the Spring Hill school district for six years.

"The K-12 science education programs at K-State Olathe are designed to support the six Johnson County public school districts in collaboratively developing, coordinating and participating in educational programs in animal health and food safety and security," Strohschein said. "This Ag Issues team brought it all together with this competition, working so hard for this well-deserved win."

To win the state event, the team delivered an oral presentation and defense on how immigration policies impact the agriculture industry and work force in the United States. Prior to the state competition, the students spent more than 200 hours preparing their oral presentation and defense, as well as a written presentation. They traveled to Topeka, Lawrence and to several local companies and organizations for nine practice presentations, including the Kansas Livestock Association and the Kansas Department of Agriculture.

For more information about K-State Olathe K-12 science education partnerships, click here or contact Strohschein at 913-307-7342 or mistroh@k-state.edu. To learn more about Spring Hill High School, contact Christine Splichal at splichalc@usd230.org or 913-592-7258. More information about FFA/Ag Issues in Kansas is available here.