DIX, Neb. – Teams from Scottsbluff and Bayard high schools placed at the top of the ranks during the 2017 West Nebraska Regional Land Judging Contest here.
More than 80 high-school students from around the panhandle participated in the 2017 West Regional Land Judging Contest, held Oct. 4 north of Dix. The North Platte Natural Resources District, South Platte NRD, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service hosted the contest.
Shawna Hill from Scottsbluff High School and RyAnne Blau from Bayard High School tied for first place, with a score of 280. Hill won with the tie breaker. Their score was nearly 18 points higher than last year’s top score. Payton Oliverius of Bayard placed third.
The Banner County FFA team of Seth Dvorak, Deven Sulllivan, Sierra Flores, and Rylie Mason took the top team honors with a score of 726. Bayard High School took home second and third places. Second place went to Nicole Backer, RyAnne Blau, Carissa Wolfe, and Shayley Petersen and third place went to Tanner Rafferty, Dorry Cooper, Dawson Kriha, Payton Oliverius.
The top three teams, not from the same high school, automatically qualify for the state contest. The third qualifying team will be Ethan Aschenbrenner, Megan Rudy, Payton Flower, and Eli DeLosSantos, from Scottsbluff High School. The state contest will be Oct. 18 in Dodge County.
David Wolf, Information and Education Coordinator for the North Platte NRD, was excited to see higher scores and very close competition.
“Both the top individual and team scores were noticeable higher than the previous year,” he said. “There were three points that separated the top three teams.”
Land 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. This year’s contest was a partnership between NRCS, the North Platte NRD, South Platte NRD, and University of Nebraska Extension.