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Zongker Competing At National Horticulture Judging

Posted 10/5/2017

By Jared Janzen

HALSCARTER Zongker shows off the fifth-place certificate she received from the State 4-H Horticulture Judging Contest in August. She is competing at the national level this week. Pictured with her is Scott Eckert, Harvey County Extension Agent of Horticulture. CARTER Zongker shows off the fifth-place certificate she received from the State 4-H Horticulture Judging Contest in August. She is competing at the national level this week. Pictured with her is Scott Eckert, Harvey County Extension Agent of Horticulture. TEAD—One young Halstead resident has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to compete at a national level this weekend, but it’ll be in something a little more off the beaten path than sports or music. Carter Zongker, senior at Halstead High School, is competing at the National Horticulture Identification and Judging Contest in Indianapolis.

While she admitted she’s nervous, she’s also determined to do well.

“I have a drive to do good,” she said. “That’s just me in everything I do. I want to be the best.”

“She likes challenges,” added Zongker’s mother, Mikel.

Zongker took fifth place at the state-level 4-H Horticulture Judging contest on Aug. 19 in Manhattan.

Normally only the top qualifying team gets to go to nationals, which this year was Butler County. However, one of Butler County’s members was unable to attend, so Zongker was asked to go instead.

Harvey County took fifth in team scoring this year. The county qualified for nationals as a team in 2007 and 2012.

Kansas will have a strong delegation at nationals because all three representatives placed in the top five at state, and Butler County’s extension agent is calling it his dream team, Zongker said. 

“It’s something that’s never happened in Kansas before that the coaches and horticulture extension agents know of,” Zongker said.

Zongker’s high sore at state is even more impressive because she’s only been doing horticulture judging for three years. The two Butler County qualifiers she’s going with have each been doing horticulture judging for 10 years.

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