ALLIANCE – Over 80 high-school students from around the Panhandle participated in the 2018 West Regional Land Judging Contest. The event was held north of Alliance. The contest was hosted by the North Platte Natural Resources District (NRD), Upper Niobrara White NRD, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).
Cody Hagen from Scottsbluff High School finished in first place, with a score of 303. Kolten Kriha and Garret Hopkins, both from Bayard High School, placed second and third respectively.
The Scottsbluff High School team of John Spehar, Cody Hagen, Daniel Hiltgen, and Blake Hilltook the top team honors with a score of 759. Bayard High School took home second and third places. Second place went to Ryan Liakos, Leah Albro, Kodie Harimon, and Braden Johnson; and third place went to Taylor Gier, Wyatt Fiscus, Kristin Clause, and Katie Colson.
The top three teams, not from the same high school, automatically qualify for the state contest. The third qualifying team is from Leyton High School (Sage Rummell, Zac Henke, Dominick Russ, and Dawson Wiggins). The state contest will be held Oct. 18, in the Lower Platte North NRD.
David Wolf, Information & Education Coordinator for the North Platte NRD, was happy with the turnout.
“We had great weather, a school that had not participated in a number of years, and our scores continue to increase. It was a great event all around.”
Land Judging is a high-school competition that challenges students to gain a better understanding of soil structure and land evaluation. Land judging enables each participant to learn how to recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship. This year’s contest was a partnership between NRCS, the North Platte NRD, Upper Niobrara White NRD, and University of Nebraska Extension.