Soil Judging

By: News Release
Sep 20th, 2017

Elkader, IA. – On September 19th, thirteen students from two local high schools gathered at the Tom and Agnes Kenney farm near Elkader for the 42nd annual Clayton Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) soil judging contest. Members of the Ed-Co and Central FFA chapters judged soil profiles, tested their pacing ability, flagged contour lines, and completed a written quiz on soil properties. The contest provides an opportunity for participants to develop and practice skills needed to evaluate and protect our natural resources.

This year’s top soil judging team was from Central. Team members included Andrey Shirbroun, James Eberhardt, Laci Orr, and Alexis Pash. The team from Ed-Co took second. Team members included Calvin Heims, Emma Ehlers, Noelle Kerns, and Kohl Moser. Soil judging contestants complete a written quiz and evaluate soil profiles from three different sites. Contest questions are based on the properties of the soils and management practices. Calvin Heims from Ed-Co was the top individual soil judge. Andrey Shirbroun and James Eberhardt from Central placed second and third, respectively.

This year’s top contour layout team was from Ed-Co. Team members were Cory Kloser and Wyatt Rowcliffe. Brittnee Pash and Laci Orr of Central took second. Ethan Lee and James Eberhardt of Central placed third. Contestants attempt to layout a level contour line over a long, winding field. The first place team from Ed-Co flagged a contour line that was within seven hundredths of a foot from being level.

Alexis Pash of Central took first place in this year’s pacing contest. Noelle Kerns of Ed-Co placed second. Kohl Moser of Ed-Co took third. Alexis judged the length of a 1,036 foot pacing course within eight tenths of one foot.

NRCS Area Agronomist Neil Sass served as official judge of the soil pits. Ray’s Excavating, Edgewood, constructed the soil pits and provided time and equipment for the contest. DNR District Forester Dave Asche conducted a forestry management clinic for the participating schools. Clayton SWCD Commissioners Owen Sylvester and Agnes Kenney assisted with scoring Technical assistance was provided by the staff of the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office in Elkader: Pat Schaefers, Roger Erickson, Rocky Thein, Eric Palas, Steve Kiley, Gina Parker, Helen Leavenworth, and Nic Zmoos.

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