Kelsey Wetovick of Fullerton and a team from Tri-County High School earned first-place awards at the 2009 Nebraska State Land Judging Contest in November near Wolbach.
Wetovick posted the top individual score of 305 out of a potential 400. The Tri-County team of Bennet Weise, Levi Likens, Kyle Riesen and Garret Freese posted the top team score of 829 points.
In the individual competition, Alex Brahmer of Wisner-Pilger was second, Meagan Anderson of Tekamah-Herman third and Chelsea Brinkman of Pender fourth. Each received a purple ribbon.
The Diller-Odell team of Andy Adam, Ethan Weers and Garry Fuller was second in the team competition. The Prague team of Jake Smaus, Sadie VanNorman, Nathan Sousek and Hannah Schaefer finished third. Wisner-Pilger placed fourth, with a team consisting of Justin Sindler, Parker Ruskamp, Taylor Horst and Alex Brahmer.
The fifth place team came from Twin River High School. Team members were Matt Vetick, Alex Mohr, Blame Knowinski and Greg Connelly.
The top five teams have the opportunity to represent Nebraska at the National Land Judging contest in Oklahoma this spring.
Members of the Greeley-Wolbach FFA and their advisor, Robert Swett, assisted with the contest scoring and served a barbecue pork lunch to all participants and contest volunteers. The meal was provided courtesy of the Lower Loup Natural Resources District.
Land judging challenges students to gain a better understanding of soil structure and land evaluation. The 22 four-member teams learned how to recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship.
To qualify for the contest, teams had to be a top finisher at one of seven regional contests in October. The regional contests are hosted by the state's natural resources districts. The Lower Loup Natural Resources District, the Nebraska Association of Resources Districts, USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the Nebraska Agricultural Educators Association organized and conducted the contest.