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UTM’s soil-judging team wins Southeast Regional competition

UTM’s soil-judging team wins Southeast Regional competition

Posted: Wednesday, November 26, 2008 6:25 am

  A team of University of Tennessee at Martin students know their soils. The soil-judging team recently claimed first place in the Southeast Regional Soil Judging contest hosted by Virginia Tech and held in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Twelve teams (75 individuals) from throughout the Southeast participated in the contest, with the top six teams from the regional contest qualifying for the national contest in April.

UT Martin claimed 1,997 points and will be the first Tennessee team to appear on a traveling trophy in the last 12 years of competition. Individually, Lindsey Slaughter of Lyles won first place; Kelly Whitson of Troy was fourth; Hannah Davis of Lewisburg, 11th; and Trey Browning of Dresden, 23rd. Team alternates were Scott Bearden of Cumberland Furnace and Wes Rodgers of Prospect.

As part of the competition, students evaluate soil based on color, texture, structure and horizons or layers and then interpret this information as it relates to agricultural soil qualities and possible limitations to urban development of the soils. Students spend three days looking at practice sites in the region and the contest, held on the fourth day, involves describing and evaluating four different soil pits. Students compete for both individual prizes (ranking) and a team score. The team score is the combined score of the students on each team.

The team was accompanied to Virginia Tech by Dr. Steve Monteith, USDA-National Resources Conservation Service soil scientist in Jackson, in the absence of Dr. Paula Gale, UT Martin professor of soil science, who was unable to attend.
Published in The Messenger 11.25.08

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