Buckeye Central FFA Soil Judging Contest

By Janet Kehres

The Buckeye Central FFA members attended the Hardin Northern Soil Judging Invitational recently. Once again the participants utilized classroom knowledge and skills to evaluate the soil characteristics and make recommended management and conservation practices to the landowner.

In the Rural Contest 92 teams from 29 schools participated in the all day event. Buckeye Central's Top team consisting of Zoe Rutlege, Katie Keppler, Kendra Swartz, and Jasmenn Norville placed 15th overall. Top individuals included Nick Fike 15th, Ray Stahl 16th, Keppler 45th, Alex Dearsman 50th, and Kendra Swartz 57th out of a total of 326 students.

In the Urban Contest 42 teams from 20 schools participated in the event. Buckeye Central's top team consisting of Paul Heydinger, Peter Keller, Austin Wurm, and Jordan Stockmaster placed 1st in the event edging out the North Union team by one point. Top individuals were Wurm 3rd, Keller 10th, Stockmaster 11th, Heydinger 18th, Megan McCoy 25, and Miranda Wurm 35th out of a total of 139 participants.

The unique soils of Hardin County posed a challenge for the judges as hard dense soil layers near the surface were a determining factor in the soil conservation and management. This experience greatly diversified the student's perspective, as even though the contest was not to far away from home the soils were very different.

The Buckeye Central FFA Members participated in the Crawford County Soil Judging Contest recently. All students in the Agriculture Education classroom have been studying the importance of soil and soil conservation for the past several weeks and this event culminated their educational experience by allowing the students to apply the knowledge they obtained in the classroom to real world soil conservation activity.

Two separate contests were participated in by members from BC, Wynford, and Colonel Crawford. The Rural Land Evaluation contest allows students to study the soil and ultimately make recommendations for Farm Land Use as well as Conservation Practices that would conserve the invaluable resource. The Urban Land Evaluation contest allowed student to evaluate the soil from a different perspective, students were to analyze the soil and make recommendations for soil conservation for the construction of homes, septic systems, roadways, and green spaces.

The Crawford County Soil & Water Conservation District with Mike Hall, Don Fishpaw, and Brad VanVoorhis as the official judges organized the contest on Hiler Farm's property on Young Road in Tiro Township.

Final Results saw Buckeye Central FFA topping all county teams in both contests. In the Urban Contest Buckeye Central placed 1st, with Wynford and Colonel Crawford following respectively. Top individuals in the Urban Contest were; (name, school, county placing) Paul Heydinger, BC, 1st, Alex Fike, BC, 2nd, Seth Ollis, BC, 3rd, Peter Keller, BC 4th, Kenzie Kent, Wynford, 5th. The win made it 5 straight County Championships for the Buckeye Central FFA Chapter at the Crawford County Contest. Heydinger, Fike, Ollis, Keller, and Austin Wurm will compete at the District 2 FFA Urban Soil Judging Contest in Lorain County on Tuesday, September 30th.

The Rural Soil Judging Contest saw similar results as the Urban contest as Buckeye Central placed 1st for the 4th time in 5 years while Wynford and Colonel Crawford placed 2nd and 3rd respectively. Top individuals in the Rural Contest were; (name, school, county placing) Makayla Aichholz, BC, 1st, Victoria Miller, BC 2nd, Seth Ollis, BC 3rd, Aryn Copeland, Wynford, 4th, Ray Stahl, BC 5th. Aichholz, Miller, Stahl, Derek Kalb, and Jaret Shook will compete in the District 2 FFA Rural Soil Judging Contest in Lorain County on Tuesday, September 30th. Ollis had the option to choose which contest to participate in due to an FFA rule not allowing him to compete in both at the District level.

The Buckeye Central FFA would like to thank the Crawford County Soil & Water Conservation District, and Hiler Farms for putting the event together as well as Steve Aichholz for digging practice pits for the students to learn and perfect their judging skills.

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