Kelsey Smith Loves Soil!!
 
Kelsey Smith (Senior, Agribusiness Management; Syracuse, IN) has accompanied her B.S. degree in Agribusiness Management with a minor in Soil Science and has been an integral part of the Purdue University Soils Judging Team!  Although she had participated in her high school FFA Soils Team, she changed focus as a freshmen and really gave her attention to the business curriculum.
 
During her sophomore year, Kelsey completed AGRY 255, Soil Science, and refueled her passion for soils! As a junior, she joined the Purdue Soils Team and competed in the Regional Soils Contest in Richland Center, Wisconsin where the Purdue team placed first! The team then traveled to the National Collegiate Contest at West Virginia University where they placed 5th of our 21 teams.  This past fall, the Purdue team secured second at the Regional Soils Contest in Platteville, Wisconsin.   Kelsey is looking forward to traveling in the next few weeks to the North American College and Teachers of Agriculture (NACTA) Soil Competition in Lubbock, Texas!
 
Smith stated, “As I expected collegiate soil judging is much harder than high school soil judging, and at first it seemed a bit over whelming but as Coach Gary Steinhardt tells all of his new members “eat the elephant one bite at a time” and so that is exactly what I did.  We meet for two hours once a week for class where we learn the many different rules for filling out the score cards. During the fall semester we have Saturday morning practices where we actually get our hands dirty so to speak, learning the morphology of the soil.”
 
Her involvement with the Purdue Soils Judging Team created a great network which even lead to her position at the USDA ARS National Soil Erosion Research Laboratory, Kelsey added, “I have made so many great friends and memories that will last a life time. My only regret is that I didn’t join the team sooner.”    
 
 Regional Contest in Platteville, WI.
 
 

Kelsey holding a piece of bedrock that resembles a heart/ her love for soils
 
 

Fifth place team at Collegiate soils competition