South Dakota State Reclaims 1/4-Scale Student Competition Championship

Tuesday, June 14, 2022
South Dakota State Reclaims 1/4-Scale Student Competition Championship

Peoria, Illinois--South Dakota State University reclaimed the Wehner-Detra trophy, as the Jackrabbits outperformed all competitors at the ASABE International 1/4-Scale Tractor Student Design Competition

Rounding out the top five spots were runner-up University of Missouri, followed by the University of Kentucky, Iowa State University, and the University of Nebraska, 

This year's team had three members who had competed in 2018, when the Jacks last won the competition. While the past two years presented challenges in maintaining momentum, the team remained focused on nurturing and valuing the talent pipeline. 

“What I am most proud of from watching the South Dakota State IQS team in Peoria," says team advisor Douglas Prairie, "was how the senior team members were mentoring and supporting the younger freshman and sophomore students. Winning the first-place spot highlights how the IQS competition really is a team event and requires a massive amount of support from many different members and their supporting university to be successful.”

Team Captain Ty Grone agrees. "We had amazing contributions from our younger teammates this year compared to the last few. This tractor took every little bit of effort that could be provided," says Grone. "We had leaders to lead the team, but it was the involvement from the lower classmen that made it possible to have a champion tractor. "

All of the teams felt the challenge of the past two years, but they rose to the occasion.

"We had a fantastic event this year with eighteen teams competing," says Ashley Johnson, co-chair of the 2022 contest. 

"The quality of the tractors and their level of innovation was high despite COVID interruptions over the past two years," she adds. All eighteen competitors successfully hooked and pulled in the final performance event, the tractor pull, a feat that demonstrated the extraordinary robustness in design. "This is a testament to the work and resilience of each student involved,” adds Johnson.

This year's participants came from across the US and Canada. Sponsored by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, the 1/4-scale tractor contest is unique among student engineering-design events, providing a realistic 360-degree workplace experience. It is a popular recruiting event for many sponsors, who find among the participants practiced, high-achieving prospects with strong technical, communication and leadership skills honed by competition experience.

The 2022 contest was held June 1–4, at the Peoria Expo Gardens. Sponsors include: AGCO, Briggs & Stratton, Case IH, Danfoss, John Deere, Kubota, New Holland Agriculture, SolidWorks, Titan, Caterpillar, Class, GSI, Linak, MacDon, Thomson, and Vermeer. Also: Igus, Krone, Miller Electric, and RCI Engineering, along with AC McCartney Farm Equipment, Blunier Implement, Electrex Inc., HarvestMaster, Precision Planting, SJ Smith Co., Star Equipment, and Walz Scale.

ASABE is an international scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of engineering applicable to agricultural, food, and biological systems.