Story by Dennis Brezina, NRCS Resource Soil Scientist
The 2010 State Land Judging Career Development Event was held April 22nd in Erath County, Texas. The contest was hosted by Tarleton State University in Stephenville. Participants in the event included 194 high school FFA students from 50 schools throughout the state.
The event teaches students to classify soil and land according to physical properties of the soil and landscapes. Students determine texture, permeability, depth, slope, erosion and runoff for four sites. The students then determine the land capability class and determine the best land use. From these determinations, the students then recommend mechanical and fertility treatments for each site.
Technical assistance for the Career Development Event was provided by Dr. Clyde Stahnke and Dr. Donald McGahan. Assistance with the contest was provided by several Agronomy students from Tarleton State University, and Alan Stahnke and Dennis Brezina from the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service. Stahnke and Brezina also provided NRCS pencils and career information to the contestants and Tarleton students.
The winning school in the event was Avery, followed by Hondo, Lubbock-Cooper, Teague and Robinson. These top five schools will attend the National Land Judging Contest May 4-6 in Oklahoma City. The top individual was Sidney Arnold of Avery, with a score of 252 out of a possible 280 points.