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Weed Team Wins at NEWSS

Virginia Tech's 2017 Weed Team
Led by Drs. Shawn Askew, Jacob Barney, and Michael Flessner the VT Weed Team invests hundreds of hours annually to prepare for and win both regional and national weed science competitions.

August 1, 2017 - Virginia Tech’s Weed Team continues its ongoing four-year winning streak at the 2017 Northeastern Weed Science Society’s (NEWSS) Collegiate Weed Science Contest. Led by weed science faculty Drs. Shawn Askew, Jacob Barney, and Michael Flessner, this year’s team of fifteen masters and doctoral students all placed at this event.

Dr. Jacob Barney noted that hundreds of hours of effort were invested by both students and faculty to win this event, and regarding their successful efforts added, “…it continues to show. This is a great learning experience and helps make professional connections.”

In individual competitions, senior turf weeds doctoral student John Brewer placed first overall, and rising second-year crop weeds doctoral student Shawn Beam earned third place. In team competitions, Virginia Tech’s Turf Weed Team brought home four team trophies:

  • 1stShawn Beam, John Brewer, Kara Pittman, Cam Shelton
  • 4th:  Jordan Craft, Steven Haring, Ranjeet Randhawa, Lucas Rector
  • 6th: Cody Dickinson, Becky Fletcher, Vasiliy Lakkoba, Morgan Shock
  • 8th: Carter Askew, Hunter Blake, Harrison Ferebee


Sponsored this year by and held at the ACDS Farm in North Rose, New York, the NEWSS Contest is an annual event providing Northeastern university students the opportunity to advance their applied skills in the field of weed science. Students are able to network with their peers as well as weed science faculty and professionals from universities and industry.