For the second time in four years, Benton Central 4-H took top honors at the National Land Judging contest in Oklahoma City, Okla. This year's team also won the Homesite evaluation division of the contest in the 4-H division.
Walking across the stage to accept the award with her team, Charity Amor, a Benton Central math teacher, said this win was for 'Smitty.' Many people understood the reference. Elvin Smith, legendary soils coach in Indiana at Washington Township school in Porter County, died last year. He assisted Amor and her team when they won their first contest in 2010. He was credited with either coaching or assistant-coaching at least 13 winning teams in Oklahoma. Amor has notes and practice site hole reports of contests dating back to the 1950s which she obtained from Smith.
He was an amazing coach with an amazing memory for soils, and could take a tam to almost every contest site ever held in Oklahoma which he visited. Kids could relate to him, she notes.
Benton Central was one of a handful of Indiana teams competing for the National Land Judging title in Oklahoma City. Those teams eligible to participate place in the top five in either the 4-H or FFA division in the Indiana state soils judging contest held each year in October.
Finishing fourth in 4-H from Indiana was one of the North Miami 4-H teams, coached by Glen Jones. A team from Tri-County high school participating in the 4-H division placed ninth, and was coached by Travis Scherer.
In the FFA Division the Danville FFA placed 5th out of 100 teams in the Land Judging contest. The team is coached by Duane Huge, the FFA advisor. Franklin FFA tied for 10th, and was the third-highest placing team based on scores from Indiana.