Soil Judging

On Saturday, October 14th, over 350 high school students from all across Indiana gathered here at Carnahan & Sons for the Indiana State Soil Judging Contest.  The team competition brought two waves of busloads of kids to evaluate soils.  In preparation for the event, the organizers from Purdue University dug 4 sets of elongated pits (about 5x20x4 feet deep) in which each student entered to examine the soil profile.  They classified them according to color, organic matter content, texture, tilth, slope of the site, and drainage capability.  Each soil would be rated on its load-bearing capacity, homesite or septic adaptability, and of course, crop producing potential.  The leaders, both local and from the Purdue W. Lafayette campus, were very good managers of the size of the crowds and the logistics of the competition.

Here are some pictures taken during the event.  One could not have asked for a better weather day for this to take place:  85F (29C) with clear, blue, sunny skies.  A perfect October day.

Teams arrived in buses

They were given their instructions and overview of the contest

The contestants walk down the hill to the pit sites

A student doing the actual ‘soil judging’.


Congratulations to the Rochester FFA Gold Team for your State Championship!

For a complete listing of the results, please click this link: 

After the event, a local contractor returned to the sites to place the excavated soil back into place.   By spring 2018, you will never know those spots have ever been disturbed.

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