At the 2012 State Fair, the Harrison County Land Judging Team was named the 2012 KY State Land Judging Team.
The four members of that team are Joseph Bush, Justin Barnes, Tommy Vallandingham, and Austin Bradford.
Bush has been a member of the Land Judging Team for nine years and also earned the fourth highest individual score at the Kentucky state competition.
Barnes has been a member of the team for five years, Vallandingham a three-year member, and Bradford was competing for the first year, with all individuals receiving a blue ribbon.
As the Kentucky State Land Judging Team these four young men earned an all expense paid trip to Oklahoma City to compete in the National Land Judging Competition.
In a land judging contest each individual evaluates a site to determine the slope, soil texture, erosion, depth, erosion hazard, permeability, and surface runoff; these factors help determine the Land Capability class, as well as conservation measures needed.
Each entry is scored individually, and the top four scores for each county is then combined as a team score.
The first place team qualifies to attend the national competition that is held in April/May of the following year. A lot of work and preparation goes into each competition and this team has worked for many years to accomplish their goal to go to Oklahoma.
The competition is conducted differently at the National level than it is in each individual state.
This team studied and practiced for six months to learn new soil textures, different slopes, etc. to be prepared for the competition in Oklahoma.
Mike Meyers, 4-H agent, and Kayleigh Evans, coach, traveled with the team to Oklahoma.
While in Oklahoma the team used two days before the competition to practice on sites as well as do some sight seeing.
They were able to visit the Oklahoma City Bombing National Memorial site, the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum, Stockyards City, as well as the St. Louis Arch while traveling.
The national competition was held on May 2 at a local ranch in Oklahoma City.
The Harrison County Land Judging Team did extremely well placing individually in the top 50 of the 4-H competition, with Barnes ranking 19th; and as a team they ranked 11th in the 4-H competition.
The Harrison County Soil and Water Conservation District sponsors the Land Judging team every year and is extremely proud of the hard work, diligence and commitment these four young men have given to this team.
A special thanks is given to the Harrison County Soil and Water Conservation District, the Kentucky State 4-H Council, the Harrison County Cooperative Extension Board, the Harrison County 4-H District Board, and the Kentucky Association of Conservation District employees for their support and sponsorship of this team.