Texas A&M University-Kingsville Soil judging team earns fourth place finish at regional competition
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Soil judging team earns fourth place finish at regional competition

Posted on Friday, October 18, 2019

Students study soil pit at regional competition.

Students study soil pit at regional competition.

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Soil Judging Team received fourth place honors at this year’s Region IV Collegiate Soils Contest, hosted by the University of Arkansas.


After competing in difficult conditions, including moderate rain and wind gusts, a Multi-Institutional team earned a first place finish, followed by Texas A&M University in second. Oklahoma State University (OSU) and Texas A&M-Kingsville were both tied for third place, with the tie breaker eventually going to OSU, pushing A&M-Kingsville into a fourth place finish.


The team consisted of undergraduate students from the Dick and Mary Lewis Kleberg College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Luis Perez, Jackie Cruz, Cortney Ruiz and Nikki Sandidge.


The team was led by head coach Dr. Ammar Bhandari, Professor of Soil Science in the department of Agriculture, Agribusiness and Environmental Sciences. They were also coached by Scott Cardenas, a Texas A&M-Kingsville graduate student and former soil judging team member, Dr. Greta Schuster, Department Chair and Professor of Integrated Pest Management and Plant Pathology, and two soil scientists from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS), Carlos Villarreal and Sara Russell.


Prior to the contest, the A&M-Kingsville team practiced for several weeks at soil pits on campus and in the local community. During contest week, the team traveled to Arkansas and evaluated several practice soil pits ahead of the contest.


The contest itself consisted of individual competition (each student evaluates soil profiles independently), and team competition (the entire team describes a soil and can openly collaborate to arrive at decisions).


The intent of the contest is to encourage team effort as well as individual knowledge in identifying, evaluating, classifying and describing soil profiles.

Category: Ag/Env & Wildlife Sci, General Univ

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