Friday, October 3, 2014

2014 Region V Soil Judging: Day 6 - Results and Trip Home

Breakfast was provided for all students this morning by ISU at the Field Extension and Education Laboratory just west of Ames. Iowa State took most of the top individual scores as well as the top team score, followed by Kansas State and Nebraska. Minnesota had a number of individuals just outside of the top ten, an excellent showing for a team with only one returning member.

Although a spot in the top three teams would have been nice, we would have had to forfeit a spot at the National competition anyway, as 6 of our 8 judgers are graduating in December! We congratulate them on their accomplishments and wish them well as they start their careers.

The team also extends deep gratitude to Iowa State for organizing the competition, particularly Amber Anderson-Mba and Dr. Lee Burras.

As some final thoughts from a coach - this team was particularly closely knit, and provided a warm welcome for Ms. Gladness Brush, our special guest from Tanzania. The time that was spent together exploring the soils and landscapes of Iowa will not be forgotten.

The University of Minnesota will be hosting the Regional Contest in 2015. See you in the pits!

2014 University of Minnesota Soil Judging Team
(L-R): Nic Jelinski (Coach), Muhamed Ibrahim, Katie Ring, Mike Waldvogel,
Jessica Beske, Jeff Tanaka (Captain), Kat LaBine, Rusty Zimmerman,
Gladness Brush (Assistant Coach), Kalei Holt.

Region V Soil Judging: Day 5 - Competition Day

The morning was foggy with a slight drizzle as the teams assembled and drove to the competition pits (which were right in Ames!). Students completed 2 individual pits in the morning:

(L - R) Mike Waldvogel, Muhamed Ibrahim, Rusty Zimmerman, Kat LaBine,
Katie Ring, Jeff Tanaka, Kalei Holt and Jessica Beske wait for their pit assignments.
Individual Pit #1
Individual Pit #2
With a 90% chance of rain in the afternoon, the teams ate lunch and moved sites to judge 3 team pits.

Team discussion at team pit #2.
The team pits ended in a downpour - but the team was very tightly knit this year and nobody wanted to leave without a picture in the rain.

Tomorrow - back home to the Twin Cities!

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Region V Soil Judging: Day 4 - Rhodes Farm, Southern Iowa Drift Plain

Today the team described a set of 4 practice pits on the Rhodes farm (ISU property), east of Collins, IA on the Southern Iowa Drift Plain, a loess-mantled landscape. It was raining heavily in the morning, so we spent an hour recapping all of the soils and landscapes we have seen this week. After driving to the Rhodes farm, we described two pits as individuals and one pit as a team. We began with a Hapludalf on a broad ridge:

Followed by a Endoaqualf in an upland drainageway:

And ended with a team judge of a Hapludalf on a backslope:

The team is motivated and ready to get into the pits for the competition tomorrow. Whatever weather may come, tomorrow will be a great day for Soil Judging!