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Students analyze a soil pit during the State Land Judging Contest held earlier this month at the Lake Wanahoo NRD Recreation Area in Wahoo.

WAHOO -- Students and instructors from 39 different Future Farmers of America chapters across the state of Nebraska were at Lake Wanahoo NRD Recreation Area on Wednesday, Oct. 17. One-hundred and fifty-one students competed in the 2018 State Land Judging Contest held at the recreation area.

The Lower Platte North Natural Resources District (NRD) partnered with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to host the state competition. The Lower Platte North NRD spans through five counties in northeast Nebraska including Butler, Platte, Colfax, Dodge and Saunders.

Students judged four different soil pits utilizing an evaluation card to make their assessments on various factors including the depth of soil, surface texture, permeability, slope, thickness of surface and erosion. The students also judged the land capability and recommended land treatments. Each card was scored and added together to determine overall scores for each individual student and team. Teams consisted of four students from the same FFA chapter.

The state contest consisted of teams and individual participants who advanced from regional competitions across the state. The top-five teams are advancing to the national competition which is being held in Oklahoma next spring.

The 2018 State Land Judging Champion Team was from Franklin was comprised of Emma Goosic, Courtney Meade, Joe Kahrs and Chase Haussermann.

The second-place team was from Palmyra and made up of students Kaleb Kempkes, Briley Luff, Lilly Calkins and Daniel Fry.

In third-place was Norfolk including students Kelcie Hall, Kari Labenz, Christopher Lidgett and Jake Kluver.

The fourth-place team was from Fullerton and included students Brent Wetovick, Logan Gustafson, Eljah Norman and Ryan Hellbusch.

In fifth-place was Crete with competing students Bailey Donner, Austin Lorenz, Walter Saurez and Jayden Schorn.

These 20 students will represent Nebraska at the national competition.

For more information, those interested are encouraged to contact the NRD office at (402) 443-4675.

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