Soil-judging team places 4th at regional contest, qualifies for nationals

October 24, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The Penn State Soil Judging Team placed fourth at the Northeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest in Easton, Maryland, in early October, qualifying for the national championship to be held in Ohio in the spring of 2020.

Between Oct. 8 and Oct. 11, Penn State students — most from the College of Agricultural Sciences — competed against their counterparts from nine other schools in the annual event, hosted this year by the University of Maryland.

“The contest allows students to practice describing and interpreting soils and landscapes against different schools from around the region,” said team coach Patrick Drohan, associate professor of pedology. “This year, students at the regional contest practiced describing soils representative of Entisols, Inceptisols, Alfisols and Ultisols. With 10 schools from across the northeastern United States competing this year, it was the largest northeast regional contest ever.”

scenes from regionals

Scenes from the Northeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest held in Easton, Maryland, earlier this month.

IMAGE: Penn State

The Penn State squad was led by Jarod Stanfield, an environmental resource management major, from Athens, who took seventh individual honors; Gib Blew, an agriculture major from Cranberry, who finished 14th; Lily Kile, a plant science major from Murfreesboro, Tennesee, who finished 19th; and Mckinley Morris, an environmental resource management major from West Reading, who took 22nd place.

Also competing on the Penn State team were Ryan Christy, an environmental resource management major, from Burgettstown, Garth Labar, an environmental resource management major, from Honesdale, and Dan Wesdock, an environmental resource management major, from Bel Air, Maryland.

The University of Maryland took first in the event, followed by the University of Rhode Island in second place, and Delaware Valley University, third. The University of Delaware placed fifth. Sixty-seven students competed in the regional contest with many alternates standing by.

"The weather cooperated and the pits were really interesting,” Drohan said. “We don’t have this kind of sand or loess near State College, so the soils are quite different from what the students are used to. Penn State's performance, with nearly all first-time contestants, showed that the students have worked hard.”

The Penn State Soil Judging Team also is coached by doctoral student Caitlin Hodges.

 

 

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated October 25, 2019