On October 9th and October 13-15th, the North Lake FFA competed in the Central Oregon District and State Soil Judging competitions. The district contest was held here at Fort Rock and hosted by the Kittredge family. The state contest was at Dayton, Oregon. There are two teams that participate in the contest, the beginning and advanced.
At districts both teams were split up into groups with other chapter FFA members and taken to three pits. Everyone is given a half hour to fill out their soil judging card and to go in the soil pit and get samples to judge. When the contest was over we all headed to the Fort Rock Grange to have a delicious lunch courtesy of the North Lake FFA Alumni. When lunch was coming to an end the results were given. The Central Oregon District officers announced the individual advanced and beginning results, followed by the overall team results.
In the advanced competition Barry O’Leary received 1st place, Wyatt Waldron 2nd, Mariam Horton 3rd, Ruby Wilson 4th, Alberto Valencia 5th, Ethan Murphy 6th, Nathan Gilbert 7th, Daniel Libolt 9th, and Shannon (Jennifer) Fisher placed 10th.
In the Beginning competition Kira Thomas received 1st place, 2nd Brittnee Keser, and 3rd Laurena Schmidt.
Overall team placing in the advanced competition were 1st North Lake, 2nd Culver, 3rd Sherman County. In the beginning competition it was 1st North Lake, 2nd Culver, 3rd Redmond.
Most everybody that scored in the top ten were on their way to Dayton to compete. We traveled alongside with the Culver FFA chapter and judged a few pits on the side of the road on our drive up there.
The next day was a practice day for our chapters. We judged several pits at the Lebanon School Land Lab, Oregon State Research Farm and even a pit at Bansen’s Dairy near Dayton.
While at the Bansen Dairy we were given a tour and got to see many dairy animals and his state of the art methane digester. This technology extracts methane, the active ingredient in natural gas, from manure. The methane gas is then run through a generator, producing electricity. It is then sold to large companies.
The next day was competition day. Everyone was taken to a practice pit on the Dayton high school field. The practice pit is a very important part of the contest, it helps you adjust to the judges decisions about the pits. The other pits were on fields in the outer Dayton area. The three pits were very diverse. Two of the pits were up on hills and the other was a poorly drained pit on a flat area.
Dayton FFA placed 1st, followed by Sutherlin. Friendly rival Culver earned the 3rd place banner. North Lake came in at 4th. Wyatt Waldron led all North Lake participants with 111 total points, finishing 11th overall in the competition.
The North Lake’s freshmen and sophomores placed 3rd in the beginning competition. North Lake FFA A-team has placed at the state competition nine consecutive years, earning four 1st place banners, two 2nd place banners, one 3rd place, one 4th place and one 5th place banner.
The North Lake FFA chapter would like to thank the Kittredge’s for hosting the district competition, and the Fort Rock/Silver Lake SWCD for sponsoring the state banners. Also we would like to thank the Alumni and the Fort Rock Grange for feeding the entire district, and a big thanks to the Dayton chapter for hosting state. Soil Judging is one of the biggest and most important competitions that most FFA chapters do. It is a big part of our chapter and will continue to be for years to come.
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