soil judging

The ISU Soil Judging team traveled to regional competition in Crookston, Minnesota last week. After practicing for a couple days, the team dug (ha!) into the contest pits. An entirely new team, some of whom joined just three weeks before contest, it was an incredible learning experience.

"Overall it was a valuable learning experience," said Jonah Gray, agronomy and environmental science major. "I spent the entire week in soil pits where I could apply the knowledge I gained in class and build a deeper understand of soil as a whole."

Including the addition of a new judging category. Jumble judging combines members from two different universities to form a full team. Both teams that our students served on placed 2nd and 3rd, showcasing their teamwork skills.

Friday, April 30th the Field Extension Education Farm was host to the state FFA soil judging contest. These teams have already competed at the district level, this is the "state championship" contest. Competition consists of four soil pit evaluations and one knowledge exam. 

A virtual soils contest took place on October 1-10, and students from our soils team participated in team and individual judging.

"There were 10 sets of cores (five for practice and five for the contest), and soil judgers were able to go over the practice and individual cores on their own. On a normal year, we would go to the location, maybe look at 12 practice pits, and have five contest pits (two for individuals and three for groups)," said Amber Anderson, assistant teaching professor and soils team coach.

One senior in the Department of Agronomy is given the Outstanding Senior Award yearly. Students are selected based on high academic standing, leadership in activities (especially relating to agriculture and agronomy), and good character. The selection is made by members of the senior class in agronomy as well as advisors.

Tyler Reimers graduated in 2012 with his BS in Agronomy. He now resides in Denison, IA where he is an Assistant Agronomy Division Manager for Farm Service Cooperative. His job duties include managing all aspects of agronomy business that pertains to the cooperative, as well as procurement, pricing, and logistics of the products and services they provide. He also trains and supports the agronomy staff.

Tyler enjoys most that he helps their farmer members make intelligent agronomic and economic decisions that affect their business and livelihood by keeping up to date on the newest technologies and advancements within the industry, and also by implementing local experimental plots to test new products first hand.

The Iowa State University Department of Agronomy’s very own soil team placed second in group judging and second overall out of eight teams in the soils contest hosted by Kansas State University. The team consists of 11 members; Jacob Wright, Kelli Roush, Erik Fevold, Eric Bro, Hannah Weber, John Green, Tristan Dittmer, Jacob Schultz, Austin Day, Collin Stark, and Catherine Thom. The team is coached by Amber Anderson, and her two assistants are Danny Brummel and Josh McDanel.

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