Team Displays Plant Knowledge in Forage Bowl

In a contest that some in attendance said resembled David taking on Goliath, four Asbury University students defeated a team from Penn State in a competition at the American Forage and Grassland Council’s annual conference earlier this week.

The “Forage Bowl” is a Jeopardy!-style contest in which teams test their knowledge of forage-specific agricultural issues. Students Anna Houben ’13, Roman Jaconette ’15, Paige Grass ’14 and Nicole Nystrom ’15 won in the final round of the competition.

Asbury students Nicole Nystrom '15, Paige Grass '14, Anna Houben '13 and Roman Jaconette '15 traveled with Equine Professor Marty Bilderback (center) to the American Forage and Grassland Council's annual conference.
Asbury students Nicole Nystrom '15, Paige Grass '14, Anna Houben '13 and Roman Jaconette '15 traveled with Equine Professor Marty Bilderback (center) to the American Forage and Grassland Council's annual conference.

“Contestants were quizzed on plant identification, forage production, history, toxicity and other areas pertaining to hays, pastures and silage (fodder),” said Dr. Marty Bilderback, associate professor of equine management and a member of the steering committee for the Mission Farm Project. “Our students brought Asbury to the forefront at the meeting... We were able to present a short program on the Mission Farm Project and our Equine program, which is centered around using horses to minister to others.”

The Mission Farm Project is a collaborative initiative in sustainable farming techniques designed to help students build skills for working and ministering in developing-world countries.

Several students on the Asbury team took a class last semester on forage plants, and three are Equine majors. Houben, a missions major, studied the material on forage history to help the team.

“The Penn State team had uniforms and were mostly agriculture majors, so it was kind of intimidating,” Houben said. “We were tied at the last question and did Final Jeopardy. We both missed the answer but they wagered everything, so we won 900 to 100.”

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