Soil Judging Contest held Tuesday, September 13, 2008
Around 250 students ascended on the Brian and Kelly Klootwyk farm on a chilly Tuesday morning. They and their teachers represented 25 schools in the South Central Regional Soil Judging Contest. The schools competed with each other as they moved from one soil pit to another. There were 4 soil pits altogether that were 4 feet deep and approximately 2 1/2 feet wide and 15 feet long. The students, about two at a time, climbed into each pit and answered questions on a written test that pertained to the soil horizons (layers) they saw. Questions included such things as thickness of the A horizon, moist color of the B horizon, type of soil parent material, and the extent of internal drainage. Based on what they saw in the various soil pits, they answered questions such as: would this particular soil be suitable for terracing, building houses with basements, and what limitations there would be for septic tank absorption fields. They also determined landscape position, slope, and land capability class of each site.
There were three levels of achievement based on test scores: Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Pella, Pleasantville, and Knoxville were part of the 9 schools finishing in the gold with Pella being first, Pleasantville sixth and Knoxville seventh. Top scores for individual Marion County students include Colton Pinagar and Thomas Yoder of Pella and Jacob Roberts of Knoxville. Schools finishing in the top five will compete at the state contest.
Brian and Kelly Klootwyk made their farm available, as they also did in 2004, for this event. Larry Angove volunteered his time, backhoe, and fuel to dig the pits as he has for nearly every year for at least 15 years now. Mr. Brent Hanna of Knoxville H.S. headed up the event as he has for 31 years. Mr. Mark Williams of Pella H.S. served as official scorer, as he has for many years. Mark LaVan and Tom Champa, Soil Scientists with the USDA-Natural Resource Convention Service pre-judged each pit and were present to answered questions following the test results. Mike Lewitke served as official judge for the soil conservation component of the event.
A Note from Mr. Hanna
Twenty-five schools participated in our 31st District soils clinic hosted at Knoxville. I want to thank Mr. Steinhart, Mr. Williams, Mrs. Angle, Mr. Lowrey, Ms. Witaker, Mrs. Miller, and Ms. Sondag, and all other advisors for their assistance in making the contest run so smoothly. Mr. Steinhart has e-mailed you the results. Please excuse any misspelled names.
|474 Pella||397 Osceola||293 Lamoni|
|465 Des Moines||395 Mt. Ayr||259 Baxter|
|462 Diamond Trail||384 Newton||257 Twin Cedars|
432 SE Warren
|377 Cofax||249 Creston|
|427 Lynnville-Sully||369 Leon||I-35|
|426 Pleasantville||368 Wayne|
|425 Knoxville||363 Winterset|
|418 SE Polk||
|416 North Polk||333 West Central|
|161||Kolton Keuning||Diamond Trail|
|160||Heidi Dittmer||SE Warren|
|159||Madison Van Gorp||Des Moines|
|155||Amy Sander||Des Moines|
|155||Kyle Dug||Diamond Trail|
We wish the top five teams the very best at state. Thanks to everyone.