Land Judging and Soil Evaluation

img_3900Land Judging is a high school competition that challenges students to gain a better understanding of soil structure and land evaluation. Land Judging enables each participant to learn how to recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship. Soil, land and home-site evaluation provide a setting for students to investigate the soils in their region, the environment that surrounds them and their effect on their daily lives.  There are 3 divisions as part of the contest – students, adults and professionals.

Soil is one of the most, if not most important natural resources of our environment. Soil supports and influences the crops we grow for food and fiber, the water we drink, and the air we breathe. The soils of the world fit for plant growth must sustain all the plants, animals and humans that make the Earth their home. The soil acts as a filter for the water entering the groundwater supply, as well as interacting with or being eroded by the water that flows over the surface. Soil has a direct effect on the air we breathe when it becomes airborne and is evident when dust settles or obscures vision. Soil takes long periods of time to develop but can be destroyed or eroded away in very short periods. It is only through proper stewardship of soil that life on Earth can be sustained and improved.

2016 State Results:  Team  |  Individual  |  Adults

South Central Region Contest

The 2016 South Central Land Judging Contest was held in Hamilton County on October 5, with scoring and registration at the Marquette Community Room in Marquette, NE.  Bill Whitney, Prairie Plains Resources Institute and landowner, spoke to students about the history of the site and the importance of conservation.  David Carr, CPNRD range management specialist, program discussed a 5,000-acre large landscape prescribed burn performed by CPNRD and NRCS this spring.

RESULTS:  Team  | Individual

Team Winners 
1st Place-Shickley, Kristin Witte
2nd Place- Red Cloud, Joe Strickland
3rd Place- Shelby-Rising City, Whitney Lehn
4th Place- Doniphan-Trumbull, Dave Johnson
5th Place- Aurora, Tony Sigler

Individual Purple Ribbon Winners (in order of placing): Kyler Kroeger, Doniphan-Trumbull; Addie Swartzendruber, Heartland; Morgan Nibbe, Red Cloud; Adam Moore, Red Cloud; Kody Mans, Blue Hill; Garrett Ingalls, Shelby-Rising City; Chris Lichti, Shickley; Rylee Kohmetscher, Blue Hill; Levi Schulze, Aurora; Anthony Beavers, Shickley; Michaela Chiplaski, Red Cloud; April Walkup, Cross County; John Alfs, Shickley; Carter Smith, Shelby-Rising City; Austin Allen, Aurora; Mary Nibbe, Red Cloud; Kiersten Dose, Hampton

The State Competition will be held in Buffalo County on Wednesday, October 26th.

REFERENCE MANUALS All materials are available at:

If you have any questions, contact Marcia Lee, CPNRD at or (308) 385-6282.

The Central Platte NRD, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and UNL Extension host the South Central Land Judging contest as part of a rotation with other NRDs.

Map of Land Judging Regions

Land Judging Map Regions

2015 State Winners:   Team Results | Individual Results