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ELMWOOD — The 2019 Land Judging Contest was held on Thursday, October 10 at the Jeff & Diana Gasteyer Farm near Elmwood. This year’s event was hosted by Dunn County and staff from Dunn, Buffalo, and Pepin County Land and Water Conservation offices, Solid Waste & Recycling, and NRCS assisted with the contest. Mike England, Soil Scientist for the USDA-NRCS, was the official judge.
Approximately 95 students representing 5 schools (Alma, Boyceville, Colfax, Elmwood, and Menomonie) participated in the event. Students examined four soil pits to determine the texture, structure, depth, slope and drainage of the soil. They were also tasked with determining soil fertility and nutrient management requirements. Using that information, they then identified soil erosion and land use limitations and capabilities of soil and recommended the farm management and conservation practices. Conservation careers, pollinators, and recycling learning stations were also part of the contest this year. The Dunn County Dairy Promotion Group provided milk and cheese sticks for the students.
The Menomonie team of Brady Fasbender, Ben Styer, Alex Kruschke, and Brett Smith, with individual scores ranging from 259-288, came away with first place and a team score of 1,092 points. Jean D’Angelo, Agriscience Instructor, led the team, with Brady and Ben being the two top high-scoring individuals of the event.
With a team score of 997 points, Sean Arneson, Josiah Berg, Triston Bowell, and Cole Morrissette took second place honors under the direction of Glenn Knudtson, Agriscience Instructor at Boyceville High School. Sean had the top team score of 268 points with other members of the team contributing 264, 235, and 230 points respectively.
The Elmwood team, under the direction of Agriscience Instructor Jeff Pickerign, took third place in the competition with a team score of 897. Top scorers were Bradley Trainor (247), Sam Weix (236), Logan Christman (207) and Derik Holmes (207).
Receiving fourth place with a team score of 796 was the Colfax team under the direction of Agriscience Instructor Tiffany Schaffner. Noah Albricht had a score of 203 with Aiden Mckee, Marcus Dewers, and Austin Schindler contributing with their scores of 202, 197, and 194 respectively.
Earning honorable mention was the Alma team with 756 team points. Hailey Johnson, Axel Noll, Gabe Mann, and Caleb Walstrom contributed toward their team score of 756 points. Scott Noll, Agriscience Instructor, provided direction for the team.