The group spent three days in the rain and mud during the 2011 Southeast Regional Collegiate Soils Contest at West Virginia University. During the competition, students from 10 universities identified different layers of soil and described the characteristics of each.
Students use the same skills and techniques as professional soil scientists.
The TTU team placed fifth overall. Joseph Martin, of Jefferson City, Tenn., placed sixth in the individual rankings and Lee-Allen Turner, of McMinnville, Tenn., took ninth.
Ray Handley, Cole Patton, Mandy Millard, Jayda Crabtree and Kayla Barber also participated. Their coach was agriculture professor Janice Branson.
The National Soil Judging Contest will be sometime in late March or early April 2012, again at West Virginia University.