Land Judging & 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 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.

2018 State Land Judging Contest

Students and instructors from 39 different FFA Chapters across the state of Nebraska were at Lake Wanahoo NRD Recreation Area on Wednesday, October 17th.  151 students competed in the 2018 State Land Judging Contest held at the recreation area.

The state contest consists of teams and individual participants who advanced from regional competitions across the state.  The top five teams advance to the national competition held in Oklahoma next spring.  The 2018 State Land Judging Champion Team was from Franklin including students: Emma Goosic, Courtney Meade, Joe Kahrs, and Chase Haussermann.  The 2nd place team was from Palmyra including students: Kaleb Kempkes, Briley Luff, Lilly Calkins, and Daniel Fry.  In 3rd place was Norfolk including students: Kelcie Hall, Kari Labenz, Christopher Lidgett, and Jake Kluver.  The 4th place team was from Fullerton and included students: Brent Wetovick, Logan Gustafson, Eljah Norman, and Ryan Hellbusch.  In 5th place was Crete including students: Bailey Donner, Austin Lorenz, Walter Saurez, & Jayden Schorn.  These 20 students will represent Nebraska at the national competition.  Team Results  |   Individual Results

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