Collegiate Soils Team places among top teams at national contests

Soils Team
Pictured left to right are Ashley Lamm, Brooklynn Hill, Jackson Christenson, Carter Conderman, Hope Saroka, Cora Brooks, Lauren Young, Andrea Noll, Alia Meiners, Brock Stringfield, Luis Avila Vette, Luke Van Donsel and Ryan Carpenter.

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Collegiate Soils Team recently competed in two national contests, where students describe and scientifically classify soils and landforms using tools and techniques employed by professional soil scientists. Students are scored based on agreement of their descriptions and classifications with that of professional soil scientists.

The “B” team consisting of mainly sophomores and juniors participated in the National Association of College Teachers in Agriculture soils contest April 16-20, hosted by the University of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls, Idaho. Fifty-seven students from nine universities participated in the event. Ryan Carpenter, junior from Palmyra, Wisconsin; Brock Stringfield, sophomore from Randolph, Wisconsin; and Cora Brooks, sophomore from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, all placed within the top 10 in the individual competition. Other UW-Platteville students participating in the event were Luis Avilla Vette, sophomore from Watertown, Wisconsin; Alia Meiners, sophomore from Williams Bay, Wisconsin; Andrea Noll, sophomore from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin; Luke Van Donsel, sophomore from Luxemburg, Wisconsin; and Lauren Young, freshman from Muscatine, Iowa. UW-Platteville placed third in the overall team competition.

On April 20-26, the “A” team competed in the National Collegiate Soils Contest, hosted by Iowa State University. Over 200 students representing 25 universities participated in the event. The team qualified for the competition by placing among the top three teams in the regional competition held in fall 2023. UW-Platteville’s Jackson Christenson, a senior from Malone, Wisconsin, and Hope Saroka, a senior from Canton, Iowa, placed fourth and 10th, respectively, in the individual competition. The team placed eighth in the team judging portion of the contest, and third overall. Other UW-Platteville students participating in the event were Carter Conderman, sophomore from Byron, Illinois; Brooklynn Hill, senior from Appleton, Wisconsin; and Ashley Lamm, senior from Freeport, Illinois.

The team sincerely appreciates funding for team travel and equipment provided by the Segregated University Fees Allocation Commission, the Doug and Jean Buhler Student Travel Grant, and by numerous donations made by alumni and friends to the UW-Platteville Foundation - Soils and Crops Teams Endowment Fund. The collegiate soils team is coached by Dr. Chris Baxter, professor of ecological restoration and resource management and soil and crop science.

For further information, please contact Chris Baxter at or visit