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Soil Judging Team Wins at National Competition

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The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Soil Judging Team competed at the National Collegiate Soils Contest April 14-19 at California Polytechnic State University. The team placed in the Top 10 for the Team Soil Pit Competition.


This was the first time a team from Texas A&M-Kingsville advanced to the national competition. They were selected to compete after a third place overall team ranking and first place team pit ranking at the Region IV contest in late 2018.


Most teams at the competition had 10 students on a team. The team from A&M-Kingsville is composed of only four undergraduates, Jonah Trevino from La Feria; Scott Cardenas from Floresville; Juan Cortinas from Houston; and Kelley Wood from Victoria. 


Dr. Shad Nelson, Dean of the College Agriculture and Natural Resources and Dr. Greta Schuster, Department Chair and Professor in the Department of Agriculture, Agribusiness, and Environmental Sciences, said that the team performed well thanks to training received by local and state United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) soil scientists.


Nelson and Schuster served as faculty advisors and coaches for the team of undergraduates from Texas A&M-Kingsville.


“These guys worked hard. We meet twice a week and then some. I know they appreciated all of the help from USDA and couldn’t have done it without their help.  Alan, Carlos and John were great teachers and mentors in Oklahoma. These students will go far because of this experience. TAMUK is indebted to the USDA scientists for all of their support and guidance,” Schuster said.


Texas A&M-Kingsville was the only team in the Southwest region to take home award winning hardware this year.  A total of 26 collegiate university teams from around the nation competed in the contest.


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


“We are proud of our plant, soil, range and wildlife science students and their success in representing TAMUK javelina spirit so well through teamwork excellence,” Nelson said.




Category: Awards/Honors , Ag/Env & Wildlife Sci , General Univ

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