UMO Hosts Land Judging Clinic for Area High School FFA Chapters

UMO Hosts Land Judging Clinic for Area High School FFA Chapters


MOUNT OLIVE – The University of Mount Olive (UMO) Agriculture Education Department recently hosted a land judging clinic at Cherry Research Station in Goldsboro.  Students participating in the event came from high schools in Alamance, Bertie, Brunswick, Cumberland, Johnston, Lenoir, Sampson, and Wayne Counties.

According to Stephen Edwards, UMO assistant professor of agriculture education, the event serves two purposes.  Edwards said, “Number one, this event is a good way to instruct our UMO agriculture education students how they can teach their future FFA students about land judging.  Secondly, it provides area high school students access to and practice in a simulated land judging setup in preparation for the state competition.”

At the UMO Clinic, students evaluate four soil pits.  They check for texture, structure, permeability, consistency, drainage, limiting layers, and erosion. The students also check the typography of the land which includes estimating slope and the sites’ impact on surface water such as ponds, lakes, streams, and rivers.  The students analyze the characteristics of the soil and then they evaluate and assign the land a capability class, which allows them to determine the best agriculture and urban uses for the land.

Edwards noted that this is the second year that UMO has sponsored the event.  He also indicated that two out of the top five teams that placed at the state level in 2013, attended last year’s UMO sponsored land judging clinic.

“This clinic gives students a chance to do something very practical and hands-on relating to soils,” said Edwards. “Even if they don’t go to the state contest, it gives students a chance to see and learn about different soil types, because soil is so important.”

The University of Mount Olive is a private institution rooted in the liberal arts tradition with defining Christian values. The University, sponsored by the Convention of Original Free Will Baptists, has locations in Mount Olive, New Bern, Wilmington, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Research Triangle Park, Washington, Jacksonville, and in Smithfield at Johnston Community College.  For more information, visit