Area students compete in soil judging contest
For Hub City Times
WISCONSIN RAPIDS — Sixty-one high school agriculture students from Auburndale, Marshfield, Wisconsin Rapids, and Pittsville recently participated in the 2016 Wood County Soil Judging Contest, held on Sept. 20. The contest was hosted at Carey and Karen Jones’ farm, which is operated by Edward and Mary Lou Kollross. As wise land use becomes critical for agriculture, recreation, sand mining, and other uses, the event facilitates students’ learning about soil conservation.
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 first for individuals in the contest. Teammates Aiden Masanz, Tyler Dammann, and DeAnna Borgman placed fourth, fifth, and 12th, respectively, for individuals as the Pittsville team was awarded second place overall for the event.
The Marshfield team won first place overall with their top four students high in rankings: Jenna Jakobi at second, Maureen Cassidy at third, Hunter Graff at sixth, and Mason Gukenberger at eighth.
Elizabeth Pankratz — ranked seventh — had the highest score for Auburndale High school, helping the team 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 were Tim Heeg and Mark Zee, Marshfield; Mark Cournoyer, Auburndale; Bill Urban, Pittsville; and Jeremy Radtke, Wisconsin Rapids Lincoln.
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 degrees of limitation for agriculture, building, or road construction.
Full contest results are available at the Wood County UW-Extension website, wood.uwex.edu.