Iowa State University Soil Judging Team Successful at National Competition

May 31st, 2016

AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Soil Judging Team placed second overall in the American Society of Agronomy National Collegiate Soils Contest at Kansas State University.

During the competition in April students wrote detailed soil layer descriptions, classified soils, determined geological and hydrological characteristics, took topographic measurements and interpreted soil properties for agricultural and engineering land use.

The weeklong competition included 23 university teams competing in both individual and group contests. Students evaluated soils based on texture, structure, color, classification and suitability for a variety of uses.

Jake Ziggafoos, an agronomy senior from Eldora, Iowa placed second overall in the individual contest and Matt Levan, an agronomy sophomore from St. Ansgar, Iowa placed 13th.

Other team members included:
Casey Campbell, an agronomy sophomore from Franklin, Indiana;
Jordan Cooper, an agronomy junior from Conrad, Iowa;
Emma Haven, an agronomy senior from Livermore, California;
Danny Brummel, an agronomy junior from Springfield, Illinois;
Brandon Walls, an agronomy and environmental science junior from Dyersville, Iowa;
Geneva Knutson, an agronomy junior in agronomy from Wapello, Iowa;
Josh McDanel, an environmental science junior from Oskaloosa, Iowa; and
Justin Chapman, an agricultural and life sciences education junior from Williamsburg, Iowa.
The team qualified for the national competition after placing second at regionals held last fall at the University of Minnesota-twin cities. At that competition Campbell placed second, Levan placed third, Ziggafoos placed seventh and Chapman and Brummel tied for tenth.

The team is coached by Amber Anderson-Mba, an agronomy lecturer from Aurelia, Iowa and Heidi Dittmer, a graduate student in soil science and agricultural education from Lacona, Iowa.


Amber Anderson-Mba, Agronomy, 515-294-3287,
Barb McBreen, Agricultural and Life Sciences Communications Service, 515-294-0707,