Soil Judging: More than just Dirt

After competition, the group traveled to Canoe Creek for a nature hike and to learn about furnances found along the trail. Picture from left to right: Jaylon Beck, Colby Daughenbaugh, Haylee Blowers, Logan Johnston, Haley Miller, McKayliee Robinson, MaKenna LaRosa, and Kobi Brower

Why are soils important to understand? This is the question first asked to the Tyrone Area High School Natural Resources and Ecology class in late September.  

From this question, lessons evolved on soil types, drainage, ribbon testing, and slope determination. On October 5th nine Tyrone students attended the Blair County Conservation Soil Judging event.  

“I will be the first to admit that preparing for the event in October, I’m really doing a crash course and know the students will only have a very basic understanding of the event,” said Tyrone Area Agricultural Educator/FFA Advisor, Tiffany Hoy, “Yet, to take them out into the fields where real pits are dug and conservation members review what they students are doing, is an amazing opportunity.”

I would encourage others to go and get experience in soil judging, however, you need to make sure you study outside of class-time.”

— Makenna Larosa

“I would encourage others to go and get experience in soil judging, however, you need to make sure you study outside of class-time,” said FFA member MaKenna LaRosa.

Each member judged three soil pits and on the one pit the students were asked to determine slope. In the NRE course, the students are exposed to a clinometer, but Mrs. Hoy has her students utilize the slope formula taught in math classes.

“Going out and actually using the formula helped me to have a better understanding slope,” said sophomore Haley Miller.

FFA team members included:

Jaylon Beck (senior)

Haylee Blowers (junior)

Kobi Brower (junior)

Colby Daughenbaugh (sophomore)

Logan Johnston (sophomore)

MaKenna LaRosa (junior)

Haley Miller (sophomore)

McKayliee Robinson (junior)

Bree Weaver (junior)