Soils team head to Nationals

May 2, 2003

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PLATTEVILLE-The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is well-known for two major disiplines, engineering and agriculture. It's easy to say agriculture has such a dominant impact on the tradition of University. The UWP soils team is no exception to this tradition.

During the first week of April, the team traveled to Texas A&M in College Station, Texas, for the 43rd Annual National Collegiate Soils Competition. The team placed fourth out of 22 teams. UWP has qualified for 31 straight national contests among the 43 national contests, which is a record achievement among all 50 or 60 universities which have collegiate soils teams. The UWP soils team has enjoyed the best record of any university in the soils competition. The team has also won 10 national championships.

Nine students traveled with Dr. Roger Higgs to the competition at Texas A&M.

"There are many benefits which students derive from competing in a national educational contest. Benefits that I have seen include learning to think under pressure, career benefits, scholarship benefits, learning different cultures through travel, educational benefits, teamwork, but most of all friendships," said Roger Higgs, team advisor.

The only individual senior member, Josh Kamps--an agriculture education from Belmont--placed fourth overall in the competition.

Other individual scorers were sophomores Jake Engelke, an agricultural education major from Platteville, who placed 25th; Eric Riedeman, a soil and crop science major from Brandon, who placed 28TH and Dennis Vollmer, a soil and crop science major from Mount Calvary, who placed 35th overall.

Individual scores are totaled from three contest sites and there are two group judging sites, which put together equal the team's total score.

UWP team group judgers consisted of Kamps, Engelke, Riedeman and Vollmer in addition to Tony Martin, a freshman majoring in agricultural business from Patch Grove; Melissa Schekel, a senior majoring in soil and crop science from Dodgeville; Katie Knuth, a sophomore majoring in agricultural education from Fall Creek; Bethany Schultz, a sophomore majoring in agricultural education from East Troy and Steve Steinhoff, a sophomore majoring in agricultural education from Cuba City.

"We have been proud to make a good name for UW-Platteville," Higgs said.

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