Posted: October 22, 2019

The Penn State Soil Judging Team placed 4th at the Northeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest in Easton, Maryland. The contest was held the week of October 8th in the area around Easton, Maryland.

L-R: Lily Kile, Ryan Christy, Jarod Stanfield, Dan Wesdock, Garth Labar, Mckinley Morris, Gib Blew

L-R: Lily Kile, Ryan Christy, Jarod Stanfield, Dan Wesdock, Garth Labar, Mckinley Morris, Gib Blew

Between October 8th and 11th students from Penn State competed at the 2019 Northeast Regional Collegiate Soil Judging Contest hosted by the University of Maryland near Easton, MD.

The contest is an annual event, which allows students to practice describing and interpreting soils and landscapes against different schools from around the region. Schools from each region compete at a Fall regional competition in order to qualify for the National event held the following Spring. This year, students at the regional contest practiced describing soils representative of Entisols, Inceptisols, Alfisols, and Ultisols. Ten schools from across the northeastern United States competed this year (the largest NE regional contest).

  1. Univ. of Maryland took first (3942 pts),
  2. Univ. of Rhode Island second (3831 pts),
  3. Delaware Valley University, third (3581 pts),
  4. Penn State Univ. fourth (3476 pts),
  5. Univ. of Delaware fifth (3377 pts),

Penn State State was coached by Dr. Drohan and PhD student Caitlin Hodges. Penn State's Jared Stanfield took 7th and Gib Blew 14th. Close behind were Lily Kile who took 19th and Morris McKinley who took 22nd (both first timers along with Jarod Stanfield). 

Penn State's team consisted of: Gib Blew (Agriculture (PMAJ), from Cranberry, PA), Ryan Christy (Env. Res. Mgmt., from Burgettstown, PA), Lily Kile (Plant Sci., from Murfreesboro, TN), Garth Labar (Env. Res. Mgmt., from Honesdale, PA), Mckinley Morris (Env. Res. Mgmt., from West Reading, PA), Jarod Stanfield (Env. Res. Mgmt., from Athens, PA), Dan Wesdock (Env. Res. Mgmt., from Bel Air, MD).


67 students competed in the contest's individual component (many more were there as alternates). Coach Patrick Drohan said "The weather cooperated and the pits were really interesting. We do not have this kind of sand or loess near State College so the soils are quite different from what the students are used to." The students really enjoyed the sunny skies and warm temperatures. Penn State's performance with nearly all first-time contestants showed that the students worked hard, learned a lot and had a lot of fun. The team qualified for Nationals Spring 2020 at The Ohio State University.