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On October 25th, six teams gathered in Stillwater, Oklahoma for the Region IV Collegiate Soil Judging Contest. Among the 2018 team members was FIU Agroecology student, Clara Riquelme. Soil contestants were expected to identify, evaluate, classify, and describe soil profiles.

Since 2017, the contest included a Multi-Institutional Team supported by a USDA-National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) Hispanic Serving Institution grant called START NOW (Student Training in Agricultural Research Techniques by Novel Occupational Workshops).

The week began with three days of judging almost ten practice pits located in the Stillwater area. A wide range of soil properties and types were observed and introduced to the participants such as: mollisols, alfisols, and entisols. Also described were soils that were well-drained, deep soils and poorly-drained, very shallow soils.

The TAMUK Soils Team qualified for the National Contest for the first time in the program’s history and Elizabeth Herrera earned the first individual award by the Multi-Institutional Team. Overall, it was an outstanding effort by all participants and best of luck to those who will be moving forward in the competition!

You can read the full article here by USDA-NRCS.