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South Dakota 4-H Students Take 2nd Place at National Land & Homesite Judging Contest

BROOKINGS, S.D. – South Dakota students had a strong showing at the National Land and Homesite Judging Contest last month, including a second-place finish for the Spink County 4-H team.

The National Land and Homesite Judging Contest was held May 4 in El Reno, Oklahoma. The contest is split into four categories: 4-H Land, FFA Land, 4-H Homesite and FFA Homesite. Teams from each state had to win their respective regions to qualify for the national contest. Two 4-H and five FFA teams from South Dakota participated in the national competition.

Caroline Hansen, SDSU Extension 4-H Youth Program Advisor for Davison and Hanson counties, and Lance Howe and Rachel Crowther with the Natural Resources Conservation Service helped the high school agriculture teachers and their students practice for the contest.

The competition includes land and homesite evaluation. The land contest involves correctly identifying four sites on various soil parameters, including slope, soil texture, soil structure, land capability and recommended land treatments.

Homesite evaluation includes additional concepts like permeability, soil depth, shrink-swell, water table depth and flooding.

The South Dakota teams usually arrive on Saturday and practice Sunday to Wednesday, with the contest on Thursday morning. When not studying, the students get to tour some of the area’s interesting sites, museums and a favorite ice cream shop.

“SDSU Extension values our youth and the educational opportunities Land and Homesite Judging provides. These experiences impress upon us the foundational value soils play in providing food, wildlife habitat, and engineering properties for buildings we work and live in,” said Sandy Smart, SDSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Senior Program Manager. “We hope these students, no matter what they end up doing in life, will care for the land because of these shared experiences.”

4-H Homesite

Spink County’s 4-H team placed second out of 13 teams in the 4-H Homesite category. Team members were Harlee Nielson, Mikael Nielson, Jackson Maynard and Brendan Nowell, with coach Shane Gross. Harlee Nielson was third and Mikael Nielson fourth out of 46 competitors.

The McCook County 4-H team placed eighth. Team members were Ava Sieverding, Lauren Roling, Karlie Stiefvater and Madison Lauck, with coach Terry Rieckman.

4-H Land

In the 4-H Land category, McCook County’s team placed 12th out of 15 teams. Team members included Colton Stiefvater, Lance Deutsch, Joe Grady and Will Rotert, with coach Terry Rieckman.

FFA Land

The Kadoka FFA team placed 19th out of 93 teams in the FFA Land category. Team members were Wyatt Mansfield, Emily Zickrick, Daniel De Cory and Mia Fernandez, with coach Brandy Knutson.

Hitchcock-Tulare’s FFA team placed 23rd. Team members were Preston Wipf, Nick Tollefson, Katelyn Schroeder and Blaze Binger, with coach Shane Gross.

The De Smet FFA team placed 27th. Team members were Connor Johnson, Jada Burke, Tucker Anderson and Kasen Janssen, with coach Dave Vanderwal.

Tri-Valley’s FFA team placed 55th. Team members were Hunter Foster, Brody Ahlquist, Nolan Schmidt and Alexis Weinacht, with coach Tanner Peterson.

The McCook County FFA team placed 59th. Team members were Jackson Remmers, Owen Alley, Carter Randall and Weston Remmers, with coach Terry Rieckman.

FFA Homesite

De Smet FFA team placed 10th out of 56 teams in the FFA Homesite category. Team members were Gannon Gruenhagen, Tucker Anderson, Jada Burke and Kassen Janssen, with coach Dave Vanderwal.

Kadoka’s FFA team placed 16th. Team members were Wyatt Mansfield, Emily Zickrick, Daniel De Cory and Mia Fernandez, with coach Brandy Knutson.

Tri-Valley FFA team placed 48th. Team members were Gracie Pedersen, Jayda Hanson, Ireland McAreavey and Epsn Althoff, and coach Tanner Peterson.

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