Cal Poly Soil Science Team Wins Regional Competition
SAN LUIS OBISPO — The Cal Poly Soil Judging Team won first place in the Regional 6 Collegiate Soil Judging Competition held Nov. 3 at Bartleson Ranch in Arroyo Grande.
The competition, sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy and the Soil Science Society of America, challenges students to describe, classify and interpret soils in the field in a competitive setting using standards established by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Cal Poly will host the next phase of competition April 14-19, 2019, when 24 teams from across the country attend the National Collegiate Soil Judging Competition.
The Cal Poly team, comprised of nine students, took first place in group judging; first, second, and third places in the individual competition; and first place overall. Forestry and natural resources major Braden Povah won first place overall in the individual competition. Senior environmental earth and soil sciences major Ryan Cunning took second place, and junior environmental management and protection major Blake Toney took third. Daniel Johnson, a faculty member in Natural Resources Management and Environmental Sciences, coached the team, and Professor Gordon Rees organized and oversaw the competition.
Twenty-seven students from Cal Poly and three other universities — Fresno State, Chico State and Humboldt State— participated in the regional competition. Soil contestants arrive at various soil pits and are expected to correctly identify, evaluate, classify and describe four soil profiles.
“Soil judging is a great experience for our students, as they get to practice their technical skills, interact with new and diverse soils, and have some friendly competition while doing it,” Rees said. “This year’s team has demonstrated real commitment, training and coming to practices on their own free time. We are excited that we now get to show off our Central Coast soils to the rest of the country when we host the national contest in April.”
About Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences
Cal Poly is a nationally ranked, comprehensive polytechnic university. The university’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences is comprised of expert faculty members who take pride in their ability to transform academically motivated students into innovative professionals ready to solve the complex challenges associated with feeding the world in sustainable ways. Students have access to state-of-the-art laboratories, including ranch land, orchards, vineyards and forests, all of which provide the basis for Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing methodology. It is the fifth-largest college of agriculture in the country, with 4,000 undergraduate students.
Soil Team.jpg — The Cal Poly Soil Judging region champion team, pictured left to right: Coach Daniel Johnson, Riley McFarland, Angel Ramirez, Abigail Gnewuch, Blake Toney, Katie White, Manfred Mayer, Janelle Rey, Braden Povah and Professor Gordon Rees.
Soil Competition.jpg — Cal Poly students examine the soil and collect samples during the competition. From left are Braden Povah, Katie White, Angel Ramirez and Blake Toney.
Please note: Higher-resolution images are available upon request.
Contact: AnnMarie Cornejo
November 9, 2018