U of A Soil Judging Team Wins Regional, Earns Ninth Straight Trip to Nationals

The U of A soil judging team is made up of students in Bumpers College's Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences.

The U of A soil judging team is made up of students in Bumpers College's Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas soil judging team won the Region IV Collegiate Soil Judging Contest this fall and has qualified for the national contest in California in the spring.

Van McClane finished first individually among 28 competitors, leading Arkansas to the regional championship in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Arkansas had three individuals in the top 10 with Ryan Greenfield finishing sixth and Machaela Morrison seventh.

The rest of the team, comprised of students in the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences, includes Lourdes Gonzalez, Mackenzie Lyon, Katie Maxwell, Jordan Vansandt and Shane Ylagan.

Kris Brye, professor of applied soil physics and pedology in the Department of Crop, Soil and Environmental Sciences, is the coach. Brye has now led Arkansas into the national finals nine consecutive years.

"I am so proud of these eight students who went to this regional contest with no soil judging experience at all among them," said Brye. "They practiced diligently and performed well-beyond my expectations."

Last year's team finished 14th in the nation after placing second in the regional meet. The U of A was eighth in the country in 2015 and ninth in 2016.

About the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences: Bumpers College provides life-changing opportunities to position and prepare graduates who will be leaders in the businesses associated with foods, family, the environment, agriculture, sustainability and human quality of life; and who will be first-choice candidates of employers looking for leaders, innovators, policy makers and entrepreneurs. The college is named for Dale Bumpers, former Arkansas governor and longtime U.S. senator who made the state prominent in national and international agriculture.

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among only 2 percent of universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.


Robby Edwards, director of communications
Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural, Food and Life Sciences
479-575-4625, robbye@uark.edu


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