In the “World Series of College Agriculture,” one Black Hawk College student stands out
Jennifer Lincoln, an agriculture transfer student from Illinois City, came to Black Hawk College in August 2009. She quickly found herself in the soil pits, joining the Crops & Soils Judging Team and being coached by agronomy professor Andrew Larson and BHC alum Scott Wiesbrook, an Illinois natural history survey soil wetland specialist.
By late spring in 2010, with only one collegiate contest in the books, Jennifer competed in the soils contest at the North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Judging Conference hosted by Redlands Community College in El Reno, Okla.
The BHC team finished first in the nation and Jennifer, a freshman, finished as the top individual in the nation.
“Black Hawk College – East Campus is kind of a big deal at NACTA. We’ve had a lot of success in the past, so the pressure was there,” she said.
One year later, the BHC Crops & Soils Judging Team traveled to Modesto, Calif., for the 2011 NACTA competition.
“I was nervous but very excited. Our team was well-prepared, but you never know what can happen,” Jennifer said.
Once again the BHC team finished first in the nation, Jennifer’s teammates brought home seven of the top 10 individual spots (including the top five slots), and she placed fourth as an individual.
“I felt like a million bucks. Winning back-to-back team titles is a great accomplishment,” she said.
In addition to competing on the Crops & Soils Judging Team at NACTA, she also was a member of the Agricultural Computers Team. That team placed fourth in the nation at the 2011 NACTA competition.
And as a sophomore in the fall of 2010, Jennifer attended the Illinois Postsecondary Agricultural Student Organization (PAS) Fall Conference. She competed in the Employment Interview Career Program Area – Crop Production and came in third place.
Jennifer also is competitive in the classroom. In the spring of her freshman year, she was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the international honor society for two-year colleges. To qualify for membership, students must have completed 12 hours of associate degree coursework and have a minimum 3.5 GPA.
As a sophomore in 2010-11, she was awarded an agriculture education internship, a Piper Scholarship through the Black Hawk College – East Foundation, and a Crops & Soils Achievement Award. She received the Volunteer of the Year Award which is given to the sophomore student who volunteered with the most extra-curricular activities during his/her two years at Black Hawk College.
Jennifer also was named a Founders Scholar. Recipients must have a minimum 3.75 GPA and be on track to earn an associate of arts or associate of science degree.
In May 2011, Jennifer graduated summa cum laude with a perfect 4.0 GPA. She plans to transfer to the University of Wisconsin-Platteville where she will major in agriculture education and minor in agronomy.
No doubt, she will once again step into a soil pit and find success.