Who are we
We are students who are interested in studying, classifying, and judging soils. Some of our members have done soils judging before, while others are participating for the first time. Most of the students have majors within the college of agriculture and we encourage anyone to join. Experience is not necessary and any college level is welcome.
What we do
Each year we participate in three contests: a regional contest in the fall and two national contests in the spring. During the fall semester we have field practice as well as in class exercises until the time of the regional contest. We meet once a week during regular class time to learn about general soil processes, geology and geography, land use, and classify soils using contest rules. We practice soil texturing, color analysis, then pull everything together with hands-on practice in the field.
We host the Purdue middle/high school soils invitational contest. We prepare soil texture kits and Munsell charts used by educators in outreach, extension, schools, and colleges.
The national and regional contests are one of the primary reasons we soil judge. We were the Midwest regional champions for the past four years. The national contests include the ASA contest and the NACTA contest. All soil judgers are encouraged to travel and participate in a soil judging contest regardless of experience. This past spring teams competed in national contests in California and at Murray State University. Both teams placed in top rankings for group and individual contests.
How to Join
Students are able to join by contacting our head coach, Gary Steinhardt, or beginning judgers register for the soils judging class – AGRY 15500.
- Experience in soil judging develops valuable skills in soils that aid in internships and future job placement.
- You learn about different regions of the United States from a new soils perspective.
- You can travel around the country.
- You meet lots of exciting and interesting friends.
- Soils judging contests make many wonderful memories.