About 250 high school FFA students from over 30 high schools fanned out across the Gary Kingery Farm outside Knoxville earlier this week, during an FFA soil judging contest. Knoxville FFA advisor Brent Hanna says the Knoxville chapter began hosting the state-qualifying contest for the South Central district in 1977, and the event has been in Marion County annually ever since. Hanna adds the event—which has students compare different soil types and conduct tests—teaches FFA members life skills they can use on and off the farm.
Brandi Boyd is FFA Advisor for Clark High School in Osceola. She says it’s a great experience for her students to come to Knoxville for the competition, because Knoxville offers different soil varieties to compare.
Area resource soil scientist Tom Champa was one of the judges at the event Wednesday. tells KNIA/KRLS News learning about the soil is a necessary prerequisite in having an impact in agriculture worldwide.
The competition saw students testing different soil ‘pits’ and comparing composition, crop potential and levels of acid, while also taking a test on soil knowledge.