Soil judging provides an opportunity for students to study soils through direct experience in the field. Students learn to describe soil properties, identify different kinds of soils and associated landscape features, and interpret soil information for agriculture and other land uses. These skills are developed by studying a variety of soils formed from a wide range of parent materials and vegetation in different topographic settings. Students gain an appreciation for soil as a natural resource by learning about soils and their formation. We all depend on soil for growing plants, crops, and range for livestock; building materials; replenishing water supplies; and waste disposal. If we do not care for our soils, loss of productivity and environmental degradation will follow. By understanding more about soils and their management through activities like soil judging, we stand a better chance of conserving soil and other natural resources for future generations. Students in soil judging participate in regional and national contests held annually in different states. These contests are an enjoyable and valuable learning experience, giving students an opportunity to obtain a first hand view of soils and land use outside their home areas. As an activity within the American Society of Agronomy/Soil Science Society of America (ASA/SSSA), soil judging in the United States is divided into seven regions Teams whose evaluations come closest to those of the contest officials score the highest. Regional competition precedes the national contest, to which the top four teams from each region are invited. The UNL team is a member of Region 5 along with Iowa State University, Kansas State University, the University of Minnesota, the University of Missouri, Northwest Missouri State University, Southwest Missouri State University, and South Dakota State University.
University of Nebraska Soil Judging Team