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2021 National ASAS-Academic Quadrathlon

After a virtual Academic Quadrathlon (AQ) in 2020, the 2021 National ASAS-AQ was conducted during the annual ASAS meeting in Louisville, KY with the AQ event being hosted by the University of Kentucky, Department of Animal and Food Sciences in Lexington on July 17 and 18. A total of three, four member teams competed in this year's AQ including Iowa State University from the Midwest ASAS section (Emily Saeugling, Grace Jakes, Hannah Heit, Ben McClain; Faculty advisor-Dr Jodi Sterle), Penn State Univeristy form the Northeast ASAS section (Sydney Jewell, Heidi Barkley, George DeMers, Elizabeth Gross; Faculty advisor-Ben Williamson), and Texas A&M University from the Southern ASAS section (Morgan Mathis, Kaylee Greiner, Sarah Bludau, Bennett Folsom; Faculty advisor-Dr. Sushil Paudyal). The Western ASAS section was unable to send a team this year. 

The event started Saturday morning, July 17, with the hands-on practicum conducted at the teaching/research facilities at the University of Kentucky. The hands-on knowledge of teams were tested with nutrition, reproduction, meats, breeds ID, sheep, swine, poultry, equine, and beef stops. Texas A&M took first place followed by Penn State in second and Iowa State in third. After a wonderful rib-eye sandwich lunch graciously provide by the Kentucky Beef Association, teams were administered a written exam to test their knowledge across all disciplines of the animal sciences.  The written exam results were Texas A&M first, Penn State second, and Iowa State in third place. 

On Saturday evening teams attended a catered BBQ dinner and tested their ‘AXE’ throwing skills at Battle Axes in downtown Lexington. Team members had a wonderful time competing against each other and sharing fellowship with students from across the United States. Faculty, staff, and students from the University of Kentucky who assisted in the days events, ASAS Board of Directors members, ASAS President Glenn Duff, and ASAS CEO Meghan Wulster-Radcliffe joined in the evenings festivities. 

The AQ was concluded on Sunday morning on the UK campus with the oral presentations and quiz bowl. Teams developed their oral presentations the week prior to the contest and topics covered current issues facing animal agriculture. Each team provided a 12 minute presentation and answered questions from a panel of judges.  Penn state captured first, followed by Texas A&M in second, and Iowa State in third. The contest ended with the double elimination quiz bowl as moderator Dr. Brain Rude from Mississippi State University challenged students knowledge of the animal sciences. The event was very competitive and came down to a final round tie-breaker as Texas A&M was victorious over Penn State, with Iowa State finishing in third place. 

After a quick lunch provided by event organizers, the award ceremony was conducted and final placings and cash awards from ASAS were presented. The overall results of a the 2021 ASAS-AQ were Texas A&M University first place ($2,500), Penn State University second place ($1,500), and Iowa State University in third place ($750). All events were extremely competitive and all team members should be congratulated on their performance. Additionally, a special thanks to team advisors, their unselfishness and willingness to support these talented students should also be recognized.    

From the ASAS-AQ committee and the ASAS Board of Directors, who make this event possible, a very special thank you to the University of Kentucky, Department of Animal and Food Sciences including Dr. Debra Aaron for taking the lead in organizing the event, Department Chair Dr. Richard Coffey, and all the faculty, staff, students, and others who did a fantastic job of organizing and conducting the event, which would not have been possible without their efforts. Thank you Cats! 

The 2021 ASAS-AQ committee consisted of Dr. Joel Yelich - University of Idaho, Dr. Debra Aaron-University of Kentucky, and Dr. Brian Rude, Mississippi State University with the assistance of ASAS staff member Melissa Burnett.