Woodward, Okla. —
Area 4-H and FFA students recently competed in the Northwest Oklahoma Land Judging and Rangeland Contest on Monday Oct. 22 at the Southern Plains Agriculture Research Station (ARS) in Woodward.
Students who participated in the contest were from Dewey, Major, Ellis, Harper, Woodward, and Texas counties. The contest was sponsored by the Conservation Districts from those same 6 counties.
"The FFA & 4H students judged soil profiles, textures, depths, and slopes, as well as permeability and erosion factors," explained Bill Covalt, district manager of the Woodward County Conservation District. "They also judged the class of land and gave recommended land treatments such as vegetation cover, conservation practices, and fertility or soil amendments in the land judging."
The Rangeland Contest involved identifying plants, giving plant characteristics and the plant's usefulness, whether for livestock grazing or wildlife food and cover for quail.
"The Conservation Districts especially appreciate the help of Woodward local volunteers who dug the holes for judging, and Woodward Farm Credit, who provided the meal at the Woodward County Fairgrounds for students and teachers attending the contest, and Dr. Stacey Gunter, research leader at the Southern Plains ARS for the use of their range for the contest," Covalt said.
This year’s contest had over 70 contestants in Senior FFA Division, Junior FFA Division, 4-H Senior Division and 4-H Junior Division. Students from Buffalo did incredibly well, winning every division of the contest.
"This contest was important because it teaches kids about the soil and plant life. Kids need to learn about the land so that they know how to preserve fertile soil for future generations," said Covalt.