PITSBURG—The Franklin Monroe-MVCTC FFA Chapter sent nine members to the Darke County Soil Judging Contest on September 21st, and the District 5 Contest on September 28th.
The team consisted of six rural judgers, three juniors: Tanner Flora, Dalton Winterrowd, and Quinter Garber, and three sophomores: Ty Riffle, Keir Boyd, and Sam Haney, and three urban judgers, freshmen Victor Garber, Adalynn Hines, and Cash Davis.
The team met on the afternoon of the 19th and held a practice at a pit that was dug at the home of one of the members.
Advisor Kevin Bergman showed the team special tactics to use during the contest and also went further into depth of what needs to be judged.
The team met again on the 20th for some final preparations for the next day and to study some of the important management practices. Soil judging consists of two parts, the first is judging a pit that has been dug out and determining certain types of different characteristics. The second part is using what you have figured to determine what management practices should best be used to utilize the farmland. At the contest, a third part is involved where the participants take a short test on different aspects of soil.
The county contest this year was held west of the Darke County Airport. The members met and judged the soil and then left the contest and had dinner together. The top finishers for Franklin Monroe was Dalton Winterrowd for rural who placed 4th in the county, and Victor Garber for urban who placed 11th in the county. The rural team consisting of the top four finishers, Dalton Winterrowd, Quinter Garber, Ty Riffle, and Keir Boyd placed third in the county.
The urban team, consisting of Victor Garber and Adalynn Hines, placed second in the county. This contest was a good warm-up for the District 5 Soils Contest which was held on September 28th and all members advanced. The team met again on the 26th and 27th to practice and prepare for the district contest. The team left school the morning of the 28th and went to the contest which was held near New Bremen.
There were 32 different schools represented by 318 participants. The weather was a little chilly with the wind not helping the conditions for soil judging. The team persevered through the chilly conditions and were able to have a fun and enjoyable time.
After the competition, the team gathered for lunch in New Bremen and then went back to the school. The rural team consisting of the top four finishers, Quinter Garber, Keir Boyd, Ty Riffle, and Tanner Flora placed 9th in the district while the urban team consisting of Victor Garber and Cash Davis placed 18th even though they didn’t have a full team. Quinter Garber was the top individual finisher in Darke County and placed 14th overall in the rural contest. Victor Garber was the top individual finisher in Darke County as well and placed 11th overall in the urban contest.
The team would like to thank advisor Kevin Bergman for his time helping coach the team, Josh Riffle for providing a practice pit, and all the judges and fellow competitors in the contests that help make this a good experience. The team looks forward to next year when all current team members should return for another shot at making the Ohio State Contest.