Sixty-one local high school agriculture students from Auburndale, Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids and Pittsville recently participated in the 2016 Wood County Soil Judging Contest, held on Tuesday, September 20th, 2016. The contest was hosted at Carey and Karen Jones’ farm, which is operated by Edward and Mary Lou Kollross. As wise land use becomes more critical for agriculture, recreation, sand mining or other uses, students learn valuable lessons about wise use and soil conservation at this event.
At the competition, hosted by Auburndale School District, students evaluated four soil pits for characteristics such as soil texture, structure, erosion potential and land use considerations.
Hayley Jensen from Pittsville, a first-time competitor, ranked 1st for individuals in the contest. Teammates Aiden Masanz, Tyler Dammann and DeAnna Borgman placed 4th, 5th and 12th, respectively for individuals, which awarded the Pittsville team second-place overall for the event. The Marshfield team won first place overall, with their top-four students showing high rankings; Jenna Jakobi at 2nd, Cassidy Maureen at 3rd, Hunter Graff at 6th and Mason Gukenberger at 8th.
Elizabeth Pankratz (ranked 7th) had the highest score for Auburndale High school, helping the school finish third overall. Filling out the remaining top-four spots from Auburndale were Korey Meyer, Gage Stoflet and Tori Specht. The highest individual from Lincoln High School was Jordan Joosten. Advisors to the area teams are Tim Heeg and Mark Zee, Marshfield; Mark Cournoyer, Auburndale, Bill Urban, Pittsville and Jeremy Radtke, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln.
For full results of the scores click here: 2016 Soil Test Results
In addition to the cooperating school districts, the event was coordinated by Wood County UW-Extension Agriculture Agent, Matt Lippert. The contest official was USDA- Natural Resource Conservation Service Soil Scientist Karla Petges from Juneau. A special thank you to Troy Weichelt Trucking and Excavation for donating the site preparation work and the restoration of the pits after the contest completion, and to United FCS of Marshfield for sponsoring the event.
The Jones farm site featured highly productive soils including a Class I soil that has very low potential of erosion and has good water holding capacity and internal soil drainage, other soils had slightly more slope and poorer drainage causing varying degree of limitation for agriculture, building or road construction. We greatly appreciate the Joneses and the Kollrosses for their willingness to let their farm be used for the education of local students.