Tennessee Students Place Second in Team Regional Soil Judging Event

Picture of Eli Oliver, student in biosystems engineering and soil science

Eli Oliver, pictured center above, recently placed first in a regional soil judging contest, outperforming nearly 100 peers. The team will go on to compete at the National Collegiate Soils Contest in April 2020. Image courtesy UTIA. Download image



KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — One University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture student recently returned to Rocky Top from a trip to Blacksburg, Virginia with highest honors in his field. Eli Oliver, a senior in environmental soil science, placed first in the individual competition at the Southeast Regional Collegiate Soils Contest held October 7-10. Outperforming nearly 100 peers, Oliver was able to accurately judge several soil types and take home this incredible achievement.

“Soil judging consists of identifying, evaluating, classifying and describing soil profiles, and our students did a great job,” says Andrew Sherfy, one of the team advisers and last year’s Team USA coach.  The UT team competed against twelve other teams from across the southeast, ultimately coming in second place overall and earning an invitation to nationals.

Eight students from the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science traveled to Blacksburg, Virginia compete, and will travel to The Ohio State University in April 2020 to compete at the National Collegiate Soils Contest. 

Winning team members include Eric Aaser, a senior from Knoxville, Tennessee; Michael Clendenen, a junior from Indianapolis, Indiana; Emilee Crocker, a junior from Collierville, Tennessee; Sterling McClanahan, a senior from Johnson City, Tennessee; Duncan McCurry, a senior from Brentwood, Tennessee; Eli Oliver, a senior from Smithfield, Tennessee; Nathaniel Reid, a senior from Knoxville, Tennessee; and Madelyn Wood, a senior from Johnson City, Tennessee. Team advisers include Andrew Sherfy, Sean Schaeffer, and Mark Radosevich, all from the Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science.  

In 2018, UT soil science students ultimately placed first nationally and one student traveled with Team USA to compete at the International Soil Judging Contest in Brazil.

Through its 
land-grant mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu.

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Contact:

Andrew Sherfy, senior lecturer, Department of Biosystems Engineering and Soil Science, 865-974-7266, asherfy@tennessee.edu