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Teams compete in State Land Judging contestTeams compete in State Land Judging contest

The Tri-Basin NRD hosted the contest at the Platte Republican Diversion pasture west of Smithfield.

November 2, 2021

2 Min Read
Woman taking soil sample
LOOK OF THE LAND: Students from 39 high schools converged on Bertrand and the Tri-Basin NRD on Oct. 20 to compete in the State Land Judging contest.Courtesy of NARD

Students and instructors from 39 high schools met at the Bertrand Community Building to compete in State Land Judging on Oct. 20. The Tri-Basin Natural Resources District partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service to host the annual competition.

The students judged at the Platte Republican Diversion pasture west of Smithfield. The land is on the Platte-Republican divide. On the north side, runoff water flows toward the Platte River, and on the south, it flows toward the Republican River.

Tri-Basin as host

“We are honored to host the State Land Judging contest,” said John Thorburn, Tri-Basin NRD general manager. “It is critical that young people learn about the value of our soil resources. Holdrege Silt Loam is Nebraska’s official state soil, so this area is ideal for a land judging event. I’m so thankful for the many volunteers and partnering agencies who helped make this contest a tremendous success.”

Land judging is a high school competition that challenges students to gain a better understanding of soil structure and land evaluation. Teams consist of four students from the same FFA chapter, and a few individuals who qualified separate from a team.

Each participant learns how to recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship.

During the competition, students judge four soil pits using an evaluation card to make assessments on soil depth, surface texture, permeability, slope, thickness of surface and erosion. Each evaluation card is scored and added together to determine overall scores for individuals and the team.

In order to compete in the state contest, teams advance from one of the seven regional competitions hosted across the state in October. 

Individual champions

Here are the individual champions:

  1. Brayden Dose, Hampton Public Schools

  2. Evan Pankoke, Hampton Public Schools

  3. Gage Friesen, High Plains Community Schools (Polk)

  4. Julianna Zubrod, Adams Central

  5. Charlie Wells, Holdrege


Team champions

The team champions are:

  1. Hampton (Brayden Dose, Evan Pankoke, Drake Schafer and Lillian Drose)

  2. Fullerton (Landon Ziemba, Max Voichahoske, Jaxson Sullivan and Trey Swertzic)

  3. Heartland (Carson Ott, Alex Goertzen, Mason Hiebner and Tyler Lewis)

  4. Holdrege (Charli Wells, Nick Taylor, Katie Jewett and Mitchell May)

  5. Adams Central (Julianna Zubrod, Justin Barbee, Creighton Jacobitz and Jack Trausch)

These top five Nebraska teams will advance to the national competition May 3-5 in Oklahoma City. For more information on Nebraska land judging, visit nrdnet.org.

Source: NARD, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the sources. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.

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