The American Forage and Grassland Council (AFGC) announced its 2009 contest winners during its Annual Conference, which took place in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The event was held at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel and attracted approximately 250 attendees.

Each year, through the generous support of sponsors, AFGC hosts several contests for students, producers, private industry, the academic community and other individuals to support its purpose of promoting the profitable production and sustainable utilization of quality forage and grasslands.

Contest winners are listed below:

Forage Spokesperson

AFGC Affiliate Councils nominate individuals to compete in the Forage Spokesperson competition. Each individual is provided with 15 minutes to present on a topic of choice. A panel of judges evaluates the presentations and presents the awards.

This year's winners are: First Place, Robert Shoemaker, representing Virginia Forage and Grassland Council; Second place, Clayton Geralds, representing Kentucky Forage and Grassland Council; and Third Place, Eric Grim, representing Ohio Forage and Grassland Council. The competition was sponsored by Forage Genetics.

Emerging Scientist

This year's Emerging Scientist Competition featured six participants who provided 15 minute presentations on a variety of subjects. A panel of judges evaluates the presentations and determines the winners.

First place went to Melanie Soberon of Cornell University, followed by Tim Dietz of Michigan State University with second place, while third place went to Jose Clavijo of the University of Florida. The competition was sponsored by Dow AgroSciences.

National Hay Show

Individuals submit samples in various categories that are evaluated in a lab based on NIRS testing.

This year's winners by category are:

Class I, Tropical or Semi-Tropical Perennial Grasses — First Place, Paul Arnold, Arkansas; Second Place, Jimmy Jarvis, Arkansas; and Third Place, Jim Jarvis, Arkansas.

Class II, Tropical or Semi-Tropical Annual Grasses — First Place, Joe Carbaugh, Virginia; Second Place, Bob Walton, Michigan.

Class III, Temperate Perennial Grasses — First Place, Jack Welch, Maryland.

Class IV, Temperate Annual Grasses — First Place, Carroll Charpentier, Louisiana.

Class VII: Second and Later Cutting Alfalfa — First Place, Steven Gingerich, Iowa; Second Place, Charles Powell, Kentucky; and Third Place, Joe Carbaugh, Virginia.

Class VIII: Other Legumes — First Place, Carroll Charpentier, Louisiana.

Class IX: Legume-Grass Mixtures — First Place, Carroll Charpentier, Louisiana; Second Place, Clay Pierce, Louisiana; and Third Place, Bill Berry, Michigan.

The National Hay Show was sponsored by Litchfield Analytical Services.

Youth in Grazing Management

AFGC's Youth in Grazing Management essay contest is divided into age categories. Subject matter may be anything pertaining to grazing management, including but not limited to, personal experiences, observation or explanation of grazing practices, livestock management on pasture, fencing or other equipment related to grazing management, plant or animal species response to grazing management, or any other subject matter related to grazing management. This year's winners include:

Youth — First Place, Paul Shanks, Belle, Mo.

University — First Place, Krystal Guthrie, The Ohio State University; Second Place, Tim Lamb, The Ohio State University; and Third Place, Joe Zimmerman, The Ohio State University.

R.L. and Pat Dalrymple, Elstel Farm & Seed sponsored the contest.

The Forage Bowl

AFGC's Forage Bowl pits college teams against one another in a “Jeopardy-Like” setting. In 2009, Virginia Tech won first place, while second place was awarded to Penn State. The Forage Bowl was sponsored by The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation.

Photo Contest

The purpose of the contest is to recognize, through photography, the multi-faceted uses of forages.

There were 16 entries in the 2009 competition. First place went to Alan Walker of Agri-King Ltd. UK, while second place was awarded to Chris Teutsch of Virginia Tech. Third place went to John Andrae, Clemson University. This year's competition was sponsored by Ampac Seed.

AFGC's 2010 Annual Conference will be held in conjunction with the Missouri Forage and Grassland Council, June 20-22 at the University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, Springfield, Mo. For information, contact AFGC at 800.944.2342, via e-mail at info@afgc.org, or on the web at www.afgc.org.