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FFA students participate in land judging contests
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MONROE - More than 40 students, participants and volunteers attended the Green County Land Judging Competition July 14 to learn about judging land and soil.

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service hosts competitions every year for students in Wisconsin high school FFA programs. The competition was hosted by Green County farmers Becky, Dan and Ashley Wegmueller. The rotationally-grazed property provided a variety of soil types and land formations for students' hands-on learning.

The NRCS promotes soil health and conservation to all ages. Targeted conservation education of high-school age students helps build a strong foundation for agriculture and conservation before students choose career paths.

A handful of experienced staff and partners directed the event, including Jason Thomas, NRCS district conservationist; Shaunna Repking, NRCS soil scientist; Todd Jensen, Green County conservationist; and Tonya Gratz, Green County conservation technician. Students from Cashton, Janesville Craig, Lancaster, Monticello, Pecatonica, Potosi and River Ridge schools participated in the event. The Cashton team placed first in the competition.

Land judging serves as a tool to teach participants about the field of soil science and the use and management of soils. The program is designed to teach participants the importance of basic soil properties and best management practices.

This year's state competition coincided with Wisconsin Farm Tech Days in Walworth County. Eleven teams participated in the event the week of July 21 from Cashton, Cuba City, Janesville Craig, Lancaster, Monticello, Pecatonica, Platteville, Potosi, Riverdale, River Ridge and Shullsburg. Cashton took first place as a team in the state competition. Highest scoring individuals included Abby Pahnke of Shullsburg.