Over the course of the week, our students "met" soils with nests of gypsum, high exchangeable sodium, natric horizons, and albic horizons. The team worked extensively to fit the soils they saw into a broader landscape context, and to better understand and apply the knowledge they had gained.
|The finalized UMN soil-landscape synthesis for the contest and practice pits in Spink County, SD|
This is just one example of the many ways in which the unique knowledge gained through Soil Judging can be translated into technical and professional skills which set Soil Judgers apart as they enter the workforce. See our previous post on "6 Reasons to Hire a Soil Judger" for even more skills that our Judgers gain through their experiences.
This was a memorable and educational trip for all involved. Soil Judging is one of the most valuable opportunities that our students participate in - it presents an opportunity to learn fieldcraft, observational and synthetic skills, and the relationship between the soil resource and local land use and livelihoods. Thus, Soil Judgers are students of the land and its people, and represent a core component of the land grant mission.
A Perspective from the Coach: This was one of the most memorable Soil Judging trips that I have been involved in. A huge thank you to our students for their dedication, focus, and attitudes - I am filled with gratitude for knowing each of you. A huge thank you to the organizers and official judges for their hard work in selecting unique sites and putting on an extremely well organized contest. Finally, a huge thank you to our supporters and donors - you provide the foundation upon which our students have the opportunity to participate in these experiences.