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Students Win Top Honors at Innovation Challenge ‘15

Three department of Plant Sciences students won top awards at the 6th Annual Innovation Challenge competition in the corn-based innovation track. Paul Subart won first place with his project “A Displaced Farmer” and Cassandra Hillen and Joseph Kallenbach placed third with their project “Color with Corn”.

Three department of Plant Sciences students won top awards at the 6th Annual Innovation Challenge competition in the corn-based innovation track. Paul Subart won first place with his project “A Displaced Farmer” and Cassandra Hillen and Joseph Kallenbach placed third with their project “Color with Corn”.

Subart is a junior from Robinson, ND majoring in crop and weed sciences. He developed a modified rotary hammer mill to be mounted in the rear of a combine that will pulverize weed seed, resulting in reduced weed pressure and volunteer crop regrowth the following year. His project adviser was Marisol Berti, associate professor in Plant Sciences.

Hillen, from Fargo, ND and Kallenbach, from Dickinson, ND are graduate students in cereal science. Their project, “Color with Corn,” uses a corn byproduct as an alternative, low-cost way to color and add nutrients to butter. Clifford Hall, associate professor in Plant Sciences, was the project adviser.

Plant sciences graduate students Santosh Sharma, from Nepal, and Naiyuan Dong, from China, were finalists in the corn track. They set up “EEVO-GENETICS” (evolution through environment-genetics), a breeding company that will produce NDSU hybrid corn varieties targeted at the world’s marginal crop areas. Their project adviser was Marcelo Carena, professor and corn breeder.

The interdisciplinary team “Ag EMTs” also competed in the corn track finals. Team members were Theresa Reinhardt, a graduate student in plant sciences from Alhambra, Illinois, Jodi Boe, a senior majoring in crop and weed sciences from Golden Valley, ND, Mitch Bauske, a graduate student in plant pathology from Fargo, ND and Maria Breker, a graduate student in soil science from Havana, ND. They devised a multi-disciplinary approach to solving modern agricultural challenges. Their project advisers were Andrew Friskop, assistant professor and Extension plant pathologist, and Abbey Wick, assistant professor in Extension soil health.

The annual Innovation Challenge competition, which showcases and encourages student innovation, is sponsored by the NDSU Research and Technology Park. For more information, visit www.ndsuresearchpark.com/innovationweek/Pages/default.aspx.

Author: Kamie Beeson, 701-231-7123, kamie.a.beeson@ndsu.edu
Editor: Karen Hertsgaard, 701-231-5384, karen.hertsgaard@ndsu.edu

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