2020 Southwest Area Land Judging Contest

Land Judging Contest Held in the Tri-Basin

2020 Southwest Area Land Judging Contest

Tri-Basin Natural Resources District hosted the Southwest Area Land Judging Contest last Wednesday, October 7, 2020, in Gosper County. Land Judging is a high school FFA competition that challenges students to gain a better understanding of soil structure and land use limitations. Land Judging teaches participants how to recognize the physical features of soils, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship.

Natural resources districts support land and range judging competitions because these activities inform students about soils and the physical characteristics of the local environment. We work in cooperation with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and high school FFA advisors to conduct seven regional competitions and a state land judging contest every fall.

The contest was held on ground operated by Scott Ford of Bertrand and was attended by 197 students from 17 area schools. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic required us to change the way we conduct these contests. The contest ran longer than usual because we needed to limit mixing between students from different schools and make sure that anything students touched could be either discarded or sanitized. These changes complicated the contest, but it ensured that it would be safe for staff and participants.

The top two teams in the competition were from Alma and Holdrege. Teams from Alma, Holdrege, Sumner-Eddyville-Miller (SEM), Southwest and Bertrand-Loomis (Bermis) will go on to compete in the State competition. Tri-Basin NRD congratulates all participants and wishes the best of luck to the winning teams as they advance to the state competition.