AMES, Iowa — The student soils judging team from Iowa State University
brought home a first place finish from a recent regional competition in
Minnesota. The overall win was buoyed by a first place finish in the team
judging portion of the event and a second place finish by junior Nathan
Anderson, Aurelia, in the individual competition.
The win in the American Society of Agronomy Region 5 Soil Judging Contest
qualifies the Iowa State students to compete at the 2009 national
competition in Springfield, Missouri next spring. The Iowa State team beat
out eight other Midwest schools for the top prize.
The soil judging contests allow students to gain direct experience with
soils and land use in other regions, increase their overall knowledge and
experience level and learn cooperative decision making skills. This year's
regional competition was hosted by the University of Minnesota on soil sites
near Duluth, Minn. At the contest sites, students wrote detailed
descriptions of the soil horizons, classified soils according to the U.S.
soil taxonomy, determined geological characteristics of the sites, made
topographic and hydrologic measurements and interpreted soil properties for
agricultural and urban land use.
The ISU team members are Nathan Anderson, Aurelia; Sara Linn,
Correctionville; Jenny Richter, Afton; Leah Ruff, Farmersburg; Eric Schultz,
Lake View; Matthew Streeter, Ottumwa; and Brad Yeager, Delta, Colorado. Jon
Sandor, professor of agronomy, and graduate student Jessica Veenstra, coach