The 2016 West Regional Land Judging Contest was held Oct. 6, to teach high school students about the soils and how they work in our area.
The event had four schools and more than 80 students competing in the contest.
“We try to encourage students in middle school and high school to get out and learn more about our environment and nature,” said David Wolf, North Platte NRD, information/education coordinator.
“Getting kids working with professionals in the field can really encourage them that we can make a living doing things outside right here in our area.”
The competition had the students, as individuals and teams look at soils, recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship.
Tanner Rafferty a sophomore at Bayard High School took home first place in the individual event. He said growing up on a ranch he has always been interested in the land.
“It’s kind of cool to learn how to judge erosion and the different textures and how they feel, sandy, fine textures, and the horizon,” he said.
Rafferty added the information will help when a farmer goes to plant, if the soil needs nutrients for the plants or if another crop should be considered.
The competition is also designed to help the youth become better stewards of the land.
“It makes our job of managing and protecting our natural resources a lot easier if the kids understand it and become accustomed to it, it makes our job (NPNRD) a little bit easier, as they will begin to manage and protect it,” Wolf said.
The results for the team judging were:
1- Scottsbluff, Garrett Fulk, Beth Groskopf, Shawna Hill, and Ethan Aschenbrenner
2 – Bayard FFA, Tanner Rafferty, Dorry Cooper, Dawson Kriha, and Payton Oliverius
3 – Bayard FFA, Nicole Barker, Ry Anne Blau, Shaley Petersen, and Jon Moore
Individual results were as follows:
1 – Tanner Rafferty, Bayard FFA
2 – Heston Gorr, Scottsbluff
3 – Shawna Hill, Scottsbluff
For a complete listing of the results visit www.nrdnet.org/nebraska-land-judging-soil-evaluation