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Web Soil Survey Featured at VATAT Conference

story by Quenna Terry

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) was one of 90 exhibitors at this year's 2012 Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas (VATAT) convention, hosted in Amarillo.

NRCS featured the Web Soil Survey exhibit, providing educational handouts and website links for lesson planning and resources for the classroom. The technology exhibit was a popular booth for many Ag Science instructors looking for new ideas.

Although Web Soil Survey technology has been around a while, many of the agriculture science teachers were unaware of its availability. Ag Science teachers were excited to know Web Soil Survey is a free service, used as an online application to replace the standard hard copies many of them still use. A step by step instructional pamphlet was presented to interested teachers to help get them started.

Earth Team Volunteer and student intern from West Texas A&M University, Abigail Miller, worked alongside NRCS personnel at the exhibit. Miller has served as a summer intern for NRCS in public affairs and communications and she plans on seeking a job in the agriculture industry after graduation in 2013.

"I've spent this summer working for NRCS and I have learned a lot," said Miller. "NRCS is so diverse in the opportunities and resources it offers students.

"Working at the VATAT conference to help support Ag Science teachers was rewarding and I feel blessed to give back to those who have educated many students, such as myself," she said.

VATAT is an organization for Ag Science teachers and supporters of agriculture education. The Association informs Ag Science teachers about the latest agricultural education practices, encourages higher standards of teaching agriculture, and provides agriculture education.

Over 1,400 Ag Science teachers were in attendance during the conference, as well as 400 family members.

For more information about Web Soil Survey and other NRCS conservation programs, visit the Texas NRCS Web site at www.tx.nrcs.usda.gov, or contact your local NRCS office.

NRCS communications intern and earth team volunteer, Abigail Miller, promoted Web Soil Survey and provided handouts at the 2012 VATAT conference. Abigail Miller

NRCS communications intern and earth team volunteer, Abigail Miller, promoted Web Soil Survey and provided handouts at the 2012 VATAT conference.

Abigail Miller greets Ag Science teachers at NRCS exhibit and explains benefits of the soil survey application and lesson plans for the classroom.

Abigail Miller greets Ag Science teachers at NRCS exhibit and explains benefits of the soil survey application and lesson plans for the classroom.