Thirty-five FFA chapters were represented Wednesday, October 23, at the State Land Judging Contest held east of Tecumseh. Locally high-school students from Falls City, Johnson County Central, Palmyra, and Pawnee City were part of the field of 154 contestants. They competed individually and/or in teams of 4 and were tested on physical features of the soil that included: texture, permeability, thickness, slope, erosion, depth, and organic matter.
In the team competition the first and second place teams were from Fullerton and Franklin, respectively. Pawnee City’s team of Austin Branch, Bailey McLaughlin, Madison Branek, and Olivia Gottula earned third place. Following them was the team of Davi Rodriguez, Josh Jones, Teagan Bogle, and Nate Palm from Palmyra. Tri County took the fifth place prize. These top five teams earned a berth at the National Land Judging Contest to be held in May, 2020, in Oklahoma.
Individual prizes were also awarded with Johnson County Central’s Levi Dorsey earning the top spot. Madison Branek from Pawnee City placed third, and Palmyra’s Zach Kirchner and Nate Palm earned 7th and 9th place, respectively. Olivia Gottula, Pawnee City, and Gwen Olberding, Falls City, placed 12th and 15th, respectively. Each of the top finishers took home purple ribbons. In team competition Falls City’s Seth Brewer, Tyler Uhri, Gwen Olberding, and Keldon Campbell finished seventh out of the 30-team field.
The Land Judging Contest was sponsored by the Nemaha Natural Resources District, in cooperation with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Thanks to Keith Bohling for allowing the contest to be conducted on his land.