Collegiate soils team advances to national competition

October 24, 2013

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. — The University of Wisconsin-Platteville participated in the Students in Agronomy, Soils, and Environmental Sciences Region III Collegiate Soils competition Oct. 9-12. The contest was hosted by UW-Stevens Point and held in the Stevens Point area. Approximately 60 students from six universities participated in the competition.

The contest consisted of four individual sites and two group-judged sites where students described and evaluated soil profiles and landscapes in order to classify the soil and determine appropriate land use based on soil properties. Participants’ scores were based on the agreement between their descriptions and those of the professional soil scientists serving as contest officials.

Only the top three teams qualify for the national contest. Teams qualifying for the national competition were Purdue University, first place; UW-Platteville, second place; and Northern Illinois University, third place. Other universities that participated in the competition were UW-Whitewater, UW-Stevens Point and the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign.

The highest scoring individual from UW-Platteville was Miranda Yoose from Lancaster, Wis., who placed second in the individual competition. Sarah Smith from Ashton, Ill., and Austin Ewoldt from Maquoketa, Iowa, also placed among the top 10 individuals.

The UW-Platteville team placed second in the group-judging portion of the contest.

The UW-Platteville collegiate soils team currently holds the longest consecutive streak of qualifying for the National Collegiate Soils Contest, at 41 years. Last spring UW-Platteville hosted the national contest, which drew more than 200 students representing 22 universities. This year’s national contest will be held in April 2014 near Delaware Valley College in Pennsylvania and will also serve as a qualifying contest for the first-ever international soils competition to be held in conjunction with the World Congress of Soils in Jeju, South Korea, in the summer of 2014. 

Other members of the UW-Platteville soils team who participated in the contest were Kyle Weber, Volga, Iowa; Brittany Iverson, Oconto Falls, Wis.; Sam Dempsey, Palmyra, Wis.; Danielle Morgan, Bloomington, Wis.; Mikayla Horstman, Bangor, Wis.; Jacob Petrie, Chilton, Wis.; and Zach Trower, Baraboo, Wis. The team is coached by Dr. Chris Baxter, professor of soil and crop science at UW-Platteville.

Contact: Dr. Chris Baxter, professor, soil and crop science, (608) 342-1388,

Formatted by: Dan Wackershauser, UW-Platteville University Information and Communications, (608) 342-1194,



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