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Triway Case Study

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TRIWAY DISTRICT — From the roadway it might have appeared a bunch of students were just playing in the dirt Thursday, but there was much more to it for the FFA members from Triway, Northwestern, Smithville and Norwayne schools.
The students arrived at the farm of Brian and Liz Kinney around 9 a.m. for a soil judging contest in which they would analyze the dirt to determine its characteristics and what it would support. Their son, Isaac Kinney, was among the Triway students traipsing around the family farm.
Isaac Kinney noted the soil this year was different from a year ago, namely there was more muck.
“There’s a lot to know about it,” said Smithville High School sophomore Reilly VanLanen. “It’s more than just playing and digging in it.”
Before
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Denice Wolf, a Triway High School sophomore, chose urban use. She needed to determine whether the soil would support the construction of a house or other kinds of development.
Kelsey Bowers, Triway’s FFA adviser, said the soil reveals so much.
“You need to look at the soil to see if you can build a house, highways, local roads or sewer systems,” Bowers said. For urban uses, people need to know if it can support a septic system, a road or a highway like U.S. Route 30. It will determine what kind of plants and trees can be planted.
As for rural uses, soil analysis is needed in order to find out what kind of crops can be planted, will it be good for a pasture to feed livestock, what kind of conservation methods would be beneficial and if it would support agriculture, said Kelly Riley, an education specialist with the Wayne Soil & Water Conservation District.
Smithville’s Joel Shoup said there are a lot of different soil types, and the kind of soil can change over a short distance. “You can go 20 feet and find differences,” he said.
Emily Croft, a Norwayne High School Freshman, wants to pursue a career in agriculture, specifical animal science. Because ag is part of what she wants to do, she enjoyed participating in the soil judging
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