Saturday, September 30, 2017

2017 ASA Regionals, Redfield, SD - Results

Results were announced this morning at an awards breakfast hosted by Redfield Energy at the Spink County fairgrounds just south of Redfield, SD.

In what was the tightest contest in the memories of Dr. Mickey Ransom (KSU) and Dr. Doug Malo (SDSU) - together with over 70 years of Soil Judging experience - UMN was the only school with 5 judgers in the top 20. Only ~ 140 points separated the first and last of all 7 teams out of a total of over 2,200 points. Sara Bauer took 3rd place in individual judging and Cassie Tieman took 10th. The top 3 scores out of all 68 judgers on the 2nd individual pit were all UMN. 

2017 University of Minnesota ASA Regional Soil Judging Team, Redfield, SD: Upper Row (L-R): Nic Jelinski (Coach), Autumn Boxum, Julia Otten, Tessa Belo, Stefan Swenson, Gabe Benitez, Devon Brodie, Kathleen Hobert, Paige Adams. Bottom Row (L-R): Ka Yang, Cassie Tieman (10th Place individual), Sara Bauer (3rd Place Individual).

Nonetheless - such is the random component of Soil Judging - the coach (yours truly) did not make the correct choice of 4 scoring members the night prior to the contest, (typically based on performance on practice pits and previous experience (or some combination thereof)) and so the Gophers missed out on qualifying for Nationals by less than 5% of the overall points.

Regardless, the journey was so enjoyable and the team so cohesive this year that we couldn't stand to leave Redfield immediately after the contest - besides, the weather was beautiful! We actually travelled back to one of the contest pits (a Natrustoll) to further study the excellent columnar structure in a Btn horizon underlying an E horizon.

Columnar structure in a Btn horizon underlaying an E in a Natrustoll
The team collected some examples of the columnar structure to fix and utilize in our Basic Soil Science laboratory in future semesters. Therefore, our Soil Judging students continue to enrich soils education for their peers and for the students who will come after them. 

Not wanting to really hit the road and declare the week over, the team posed for one last picture.

Gopher Pride and Columnar structure!
I can't say enough about the past week, this fall's contest and this year's team. A fantastic group of students and future professionals. A subset of the group will be traveling to Norfolk, Nebraska for the 2018 NACTA Soil Judging Contest in April. Once again we would like to thank our donors for their generosity which made our South Dakota trip possible!

Be at one with your texture triangles.

Respectfully,
Nic


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