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Soil Education Key Topic at Field Day

story by Jaime Tankersley

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), High Point Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and the 1st Grade Van Horn Elementary School class were all part of a soil education presentation in November.

As the students wrapped up the soils chapter in their course work, teachers wanted to bring the material to life and asked for assistance from the Van Horn NRCS and SWCD.

Michael Margo, NRCS Rangeland Management Specialist, highlighted key components in conserving our precious natural resource - soil.

He used the exact tools utilized by the agency such as sharpshooters, augers, a soil temperature gauge, and an ecological site map to explain what vital role soil plays in our everyday lives.

Since the class of 28 students had already studied soil, they were eager with questions and ready to put their new knowledge to work.

They were able to actually create their own soil using rocks, plants, water, and air which gave them true hands on experience.

Before the day came to an end, Margo also did a "splash test" to show the importance of vegetation in preventing soil erosion.

A splash test can show the effect of a single rain drop when it makes contact with bare ground versus the rain drop that comes into contact with lush green grass. The test allows students to see firsthand the importance of proper grazing management in West Texas when water is such a precious and needed resource.

At the day's ends, students went home with a NRCS information bag and the education to demonstrate and explain soil erosion.

For more information about NRCS/SWCD activities you can contact them at 432-283-2211 ext. 3 or visit the office located on 1800 West Broadway, Suite 319.

Michael Margo, NRCS-Range Management Specialist; Lyndsay Cole, High Point SWCD Administrative Assistant explain how to use a sharpshooter to the Van Horn Elementary class during a soil education field day. Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist, Gary Fuentes, explains the purpose of a soil auger to the Van Horn Elementary 1st grade class.

Michael Margo, NRCS-Range Management Specialist; Lyndsay Cole, High Point SWCD Administrative Assistant explain how to use a sharpshooter to the Van Horn Elementary class during a soil education field day.

Natural Resources Conservation Service District Conservationist, Gary Fuentes, explains the purpose of a soil auger to the Van Horn Elementary 1st grade class.

The Van Horn Elementary 1st grade class and teachers, along with Natural Resources Conservation Service employees Michael Margo and Gary Fuentes enjoy a day of soil education.

The Van Horn Elementary 1st grade class and teachers, along with Natural Resources Conservation Service employees Michael Margo and Gary Fuentes enjoy a day of soil education.