From March 15-19, BYU-Idaho’s agribusiness department participated in the first virtual National Professional Agricultural Student Organization competition.
According to the PAS website, the PAS National Conference is “a gathering of over 600 career-ready professional agricultural students, their collegiate advisors, and industry representatives.”
Multiple schools from the Midwest competed in agricultural knowledge, business strategies and many other tests to prove their skills to the competitive agricultural judges. The conference consisted of workshops, speeches, PAS history, interviews and extensive case studies.
The conference was canceled in 2020 due to the pandemic, which caused many students to miss out on real-world education experiences.
The conference is usually held in bigger cities such as Minneapolis or Boise. However, this year it was announced that the competition would be held virtually, which gave the competing students little time to prepare. In a short time, students from BYU-I were able to prepare themselves and place in multiple categories, despite it being several of the participants’ first time at the conference.
“We had a ton of success, and many of us placed in a complicated series about anything from pigs to crops to horses,” said Tyler Hughes, a junior studying agribusiness.
Hughes placed second, both with his team and individually, in the agribusiness management case study event. He was also awarded second place in the impromptu speaking event.
Jacob Bowers, a junior studying agronomy, crop and soil science, took home a first-place award. This was Bowers’ first year competing in the conference.
Bowers mentioned that unlike other employment opportunities he has earned in the past, this was not achieved by knowing someone.
“It was great to place first because I won based on what I knew, not who I knew,” Bowers said.
The students were given problems and situations during the competition, which allowed them to gain real-world experience. From these experiences, they grew and built professional resumes for their future.
Find out more about what BYU-I students are competing in at byui.edu, and see how to get involved in opportunities like this.