UNL soil team headed to Nationals


Lincoln, Neb. — The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will make its third straight appearance at the National Collegiate Soil Judging Contest following a runner-up finish at regionals on Sept. 20.

Based out of the School of Natural Resource's conservation and survey division, UNL's 12-member soil judging team fished the Region 5 competition just 52 points behind winner Iowa State's 2,464. UNL's 2,412 was a comfortable lead over third-place Kansas State's 2,348. Overall scoring is based on a combination of results from the group and individual portions of the contest.

UNL also took home the second-place trophy in the group competition with 771 points—edging third-place Missouri State by one point. The University of Minnesota took first place in the nine-team field with 787 points.

Sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America, the 2013 national soil judging contest will be held in the spring, near Platteville, Wisc., where UNL hopes to unseat defending national champion Virginia Tech.

Students that participated on the UNL team are: Austin Baldwin, Sarah Blecha, Ryan Bulin, Brent Claybaugh, Seth Gurley, Heather Hansen, Jared Krueger, Kye McVay, Beth Milan, Rachel Stevens, Craig Teten, and Eric Woita.

The United States is divided into seven regions, and UNL is joined in Region 5 by Minnesota, Kansas State, Iowa State, Missouri State, North Dakota State, Northwest Missouri State, South Dakota State, and Missouri. Three of the last six national champions have come from Region 5, including back-to-back titles for Kansas State in 2008-09.

Held annually since 1961, the national soil judging contest helps students learn how to describe soil properties, identify different kinds of soils and associated landscape features, and interpret soil information for agriculture and other land uses.

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