Sarah Widener—Staff Writer
Twenty-two students and two advisors filled the Dordt bus Tuesday night, as the group headed for Honey Creek, Iowa, to compete in the 2019 Iowa Professional Agricultural Student Organization (PAS) contest.
Wednesday morning saw students waking up early to prepare for group competitions. These group contests covered areas like crop, soil and swine science. Group test results are based off of individual team members’ averages on a 100-question written test and an individual applicable test. Groups of up to three students work together on at least one segment of the test, such as a group case study or presentation. The group testing was then followed by a quiz bowl.
Two Dordt teams won first and third place. Results for the group tests showed the majority of Dordt teams placing in the top three. Students then relaxed for the night at the hotel’s water park.
Day two kicked off with individual tests, ranging from job interviews to agriculture education presentations. Due to the blizzard Thursday night, the advisors deemed it best to stay another night and drive home Friday morning.
Ashley Armstrong, placed third in agriculture education.
“I was shocked to be the only freshman present,” Armstrong said. “I hope next year more freshman and my classmates will come.”
Friday morning at 6 a.m., students gathered in the lobby to pray for safety and load the bus. They made a pit stop at McDonalds before continuing the six hour trip back to Dordt. Shotgun rider Mike Schouten detected an odd smell and noticed the engine lights going on. At 10:10, the bus pulled over off the interstate. Braden Konynenbelt, Schouten, and Gary DeVries hopped out of the bus to investigate the problem. DeVries remained on hold with AAA for a while before a tow truck and a different school bus was dispatched.
At 11, the school bus arrived to take Dordt students and advisors to the nearest gas station and mechanic shop. From 11 to 3:50, students waited at a gas station for the bus to be fixed. The fuel had gelled and the bus had to run correctly for one hour before it was deemed safe. The Dordt bus made the rest of its pilgrimage back to Sioux Center without incident. At 6:20, the PAS contestants finally made it back on campus.
The Dordt students who qualified at the state level now have an opportunity to compete at nationals. These are set to take place over spring break in Loveland, Colorado.