It was a windy day in Cassia County when FFA students from all around the state of Idaho gathered together to compete in the Idaho State FFA & 4-H Land & Soil Evaluation Event. With the Covid 19 concerns, students and teachers wore face masks on Wednesday as they participated in the 50th Annual Soil Judging Contest.
The contest was held on Skaggs 6S Ranch in Declo. NRCS workers and Soil District employees, along with Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisors, provided equipment and labor to prepare the testing site. Over 30 workers and volunteers assisted with the event, including Soil Scientists and County Commissioners from both Cassia and Minidoka Counties.
Students have prepared to “evaluate” the soil and learn to recognize soil factors and to assess soil characteristics. This training helps students make wise decisions in managing and using soil and land resources. Preparing and competing in this competition can help participants understand basic soil properties and how this affects crop growth. They learn why various soils respond differently to a variety of management practices, and how soil properties may be used as a basis for selecting a home site.
Students compete in Regional contests held around the state. Winners at the regional contests come to Burley to compete in the Idaho State Contest. 15 FFA Teams attended the 2020 Idaho State competition on Wednesday. Preston FFA placed first and Rigby FFA placed second. Both teams will receive scholarship money to assist with their travel to attend and compete at the national Land & Soil Evaluation Contest next spring.