Soils team tops in two national competitions

May 10, 2017
Soils Team

PLATTEVILLE, Wis. – The collegiate soils team at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville recently placed among the top teams in two national competitions. On April 4-8, a group of UW-Platteville students placed third out of eight teams in the National Association of College Teachers in Agriculture soil judging competition, hosted by Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas.

The team was composed of first- and second-year team members, including Michele Cliff from Patch Grove, Wisconsin; Kerri Foster from Brooklyn, Illinois; Kindra Yoose from Lancaster, Wisconsin; Marissa Miller from Cascade, Iowa; Isaac Welsh from Brodhead, Wisconsin; Alycia Recker from Dyersville, Iowa; Nettie Potter from Mineral Point, Wisconsin; and Austin Ross from Oregon, Wisconsin.

More recently, on April 23-28, another group of UW-Platteville students participated in the National Collegiate Soils Contest hosted by Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois. In order to qualify for the competition, teams must place amongst the top teams in their region. More than 100 qualifying students from 25 different universities participated in the contest. In the overall team competition, UW-Platteville placed third behind teams from the University of Maryland and Kansas State University. The third-place team included Lea Koning from Amboy, Illinois; Daniel Brumm from Appleton, Wisconsin; Gerald Hotelling from Arcadia, Wisconsin; Shannon Schumacher from Genoa, Illinois; and Samuel Peetz from North Freedom, Wisconsin.

In the group judging portion of the contest, where all team members cooperated to describe two different soils, the team placed 12th. Additionally, UW-Platteville students succeeded in the individual competition, with Brumm placing fourth and Koning placing 10th.

In this event, competitors described and classified specific sites, and identified characteristics of soils and the landscapes they formed using specific technology. The contestants also determined limitations for specific land uses, such as building sites and septic systems based on soil properties. Scoring was based on the agreement between the contestants’ descriptions and those of professional soil scientists serving as contest officials.

The team was coached by Dr. Chris Baxter, professor of soil and crop science at UW-Platteville.

“The team would like to acknowledge financial support for travel received by the Segregated University Fees Allocation Commission and the many donations made by alumni and friends to the UW-Platteville Foundation Soils and Crops Teams Endowment Fund,” Baxter said.

Written by: Laura Janisch, UW-Platteville Communications, 608-342-1194,


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