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UW-Platteville Soils Team Places at International Contest
Wisconsin Ag Connection - 01/12/2017

A team of students from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's Collegiate Soils Team has returned from overseas after competing in the first-ever Australasian Soils Competition. The event took place in the Otago region of New Zealand, where nine competitors described and evaluated landscapes and soil profiles.

UW-Platteville soil and crop science professor Dr. Chris Baxter coached the team. He said the school was the only team from the United States.

"I was impressed that we had four of the six top individuals in the contest and by the effort all of our students put into preparing for the contest and trip," Dr. Baxter said. "This contest used a soil classification system that our students and I had not used before, so it was a steep learning curve for all of us. Also, most of the other contestants were master's and/or Ph.D. students at their respective universities and had significantly more soils-related coursework than our students."

Participating students included Daniel Brumm, Appleton; Michelle Cliff, Patch Grove; Brandon Hall, Williamsfield, Illinois; Gerald Hotelling, Arcadia; Britany Iverson, Oconto Falls; Lea Koning, Amboy, Illinois; Rachel Leege, Wisconsin Dells; Samuel Peetz, Sauk Prairie; and Austin Ross, Albany.

The UW-Platteville A team consisting of Hall, Hotelling, Iverson, Leege and Koning placed first, while the B team consisting of Brumm, Cliff, Peetz and Ross placed fifth out of 13 teams. In the individual competition, Hall, Iverson, Koning and Leege occupying third through sixth place, respectively.

Meanwhile, the team also placed second at the 60th annual Region III Collegiate Soils Competition in Illinois last fall. That allows them to advance to the national competition, which will take place this spring.

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