For the 6th time in the last 7 years, the University of Maryland retained a place among the “final four” at the 54th National Collegiate Soil Judging competition, this time placing 3rd overall, and for the 3rd year in a row, the Soil Judging Terps finished 1st in the Group Judging portion of the competition.
The field of 19 teams from Universities and Colleges representing the best among 7 regions around the country, convened in Quakertown Pennsylvania in the event that was hosted by Delaware Valley College. The University of Maryland entered this event as the 2013 defending national champions, but were edged out by Virginia Tech (1st place – the 2012 national champs) and the University of Rhode Island (2nd place – the 2011 national champs) with Maryland finishing 3rd.
The two-part event included a segment on Thursday where students competed for individual honors and another segment on Friday where they competed as a group -- the combined scores determining the overall winner. This year’s competition has special significance in light of the upcoming (first-ever) International Collegiate Soil Judging Competition to be held in conjunction with the 20th World Congress of Soil Science in Jeju, South Korea. The top 8 individuals at the Quakertown competition have been invited to be part of the US team (which includes UMD judger Tyler Witkowski) for the June 5-7, 2014 event in Jeju.