Friday, September 29, 2017

2017 ASA Regionals, Redfield, SD - Contest Day

Contest day opened with a beautiful sunrise over the South Dakota prairies. After meeting up with the other teams and driving to the contest sites, the students began a long day of individual and group judging.

Gopher Soil Judging prepared for individual pits
Tessa Belo colors in the early sunlight
Devon Brodie waits his turn to enter Individual Pit #1
Julia Otten checking samples for effervescence
Ka Yang nailing her texture classes on Individual Pit #1
Gabe Benitez, Paige Adams and Stefan Swenson get to work on Individual Pit #2
Ka Yang, Cassie Tieman and Autumn Boxum fill out an independent card at Team Pit #2
Deep discussion and decisions being made at Team Pit #3
Cassie Tieman, Ka Yang, and Autumn Boxum working outside the pit on Team Pit #3
Sunset over the Dakota prairies on contest day
After finalizing scorecard grading, I returned to our lodging to find the team finishing dinner and socializing. What a great scene to return to. We spent the next hour chatting with Michael Whited (USDA-NRCS), Director of Region 10 Soil Survey.

This year's team is quirky, enthusiastic, motivated, dedicated, and sincerely enjoys spending time together. They are now experts in the soils of glaciated South Dakota and have a broader context for understanding the relationship of soil properties to land use across the northern glaciated plains. Whatever the outcome of tomorrow's results breakfast, the destination has been in the journey!

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