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FFA Regional Land Judging Winners Receive Scholarships
South Dakota Ag Connection - 10/09/2019

The South Dakota FFA Foundation announced the recipients of four $100 scholarships for students placing first in one of the four South Dakota Regional Land Evaluation Competitions this fall. The 2019 scholarship recipients are: John Piroutek, Philip; Caden Bottom, Hitchcock-Tulare; Shane Wicks, Willow Lake; and Grace DiGiovanni, McCook Central.

The scholarships are designed to encourage and reward students' accomplishments in the field of land & soil management. Scholarships are made possible by a contribution to the South Dakota FFA Foundation from the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition. "The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition is excited to be partnering with South Dakota FFA to help inform young people about the dramatic effect management has on water infiltration, microbial activity and production. The SDSHC continues to provide soil health buckets to vocational agriculture departments, which include the needed tools and curriculum that assist teachers in educating their students about the importance of soil structure and health. We believe the future of agriculture depends on the next generation," said Dennis Hoyle, chairman of the South Dakota Soil Health Coalition.

The South Dakota FFA Land Judging contest, hosted by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, SDSU Extension, South Dakota conservation districts and the U.S. Forest Service, is designed to emphasize the importance of soils and their limitations. Students evaluate soil texture, depth, past erosion, slope, and stoniness, estimate permeability and surface runoff, list the limiting properties, and determine the land capability class. They interpret their measurements to make intelligent land management practices, for both agricultural and urban uses. Many of the properties important for agricultural uses are also relevant for urban/rural uses, such as building, sewage systems, and lagoons. Students gain knowledge that will make them better agriculturalists, homeowners, and construction workers.

The South Dakota Soil Health Coalition supports agricultural education and the FFA's mission to make a difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. For more information about the South Dakota FFA Foundation and South Dakota's FFA programs, visit

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