LINCOLN – Four teams of high school students have earned trips to the State Land Judging Contest by qualifying at the East Central Nebraska Regional Contest held Oct. 9, near Weeping Water. The Lower Platte South Natural Resources District and the Natural Resources Conservation Service hosted 250 students from 12 schools who competed.

Students identify soil characteristics at field sites selected by a soil scientist and use the information to determine suitable uses for the land, such as what crops to grow or what kinds of development the land would support. Appropriate conservation practices are also determined. Students compete individually and as a team.

Top individual honors went to Mallory Hughes of Raymond Central High School. Other purple ribbon winners included Ellie Hula, Alena Cuttlers and Madison Parham of Raymond Central and Suzie Piitz of East Butler.

The Raymond Central team that included Blake Stanley, Hula, Hughes and Cuttlers won the competition and qualified for the state contest. Nebraska is divided into seven regions, with the top teams from each of the top four schools in a region advancing to the state contest. The State Land Judging Contest will be held Oct. 23 in Tecumseh.

Other area teams competing in the regional were from Bishop Neumann, East Butler, Mead and Waverly.

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