Banner ties for top spot in soils section at Western Regional Envirothon


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Banner County High School's team tied for the high score in the soils section at the Western Regional Envirothon in Gordon. Team members pictured, from left, are: Bailee Underhill, Julieanne McDonnell, Megan Gifford, Brandon Blickensderfer and Sara Taggart.

The Banner County FFA tied for the top spot in the soils test at the Western Region Envirothon competition.

A team from Sidney took the overall title after winning six of seven categories and will represent the Panhandle in the Nebraska Envirothon Contest near Cozad at Camp Comeca on April 29. The first place team comprised of Skylar Arent, Tanner Nienhueser, Theda Parker, Logan Uhlir and Ryan Birner earned the state berth at the contest held at the Prairie Winds Community Center.

Forty-nine students competed in the split regional contest. Schools represented included Sidney, Gering, Alliance, Gordon-Rushville, Creek Valley, Banner County and Chadron at two separate locations, Bridgeport and Gordon.

Sidney had the high score in range, aquatics, wildlife, forestry, policy and the special topic – urban and community forestry. Sidney tied with Chadron (Team 2) and Banner County for the highest score on the Soils test.

Second place overall in the Western Region was clinched by Chadron (Team 1) competitors Murphy Churchill, Toni Doescher, Brooke Roes, Greta Welch and Clay Madsen. In third place was the Creek Valley team of Logan Criswell, Noemi Marin, Josh Schievelbein, Allie Blackwelder and Cooper Riley.

The Envirothon is open to all ninth through 12th grade students and encourages high school students to learn more about the natural environment. The contest challenges students' knowledge on aquatics, forestry, wildlife, range, soils, land use and natural resource policy or issues and one special topic of national interest. Up to five-member teams compete in a setting where they learn that cooperation is needed to achieve success.

Each year regional Envirothon contests are held across Nebraska by Nebraska's Natural Resources Districts. The Western Region contest is coordinated by the South Platte, North Platte and Upper Niobrara White NRDs and the Gordon contest was held at Gordon City Hall in conjunction with a regional Future Farmers of America (FFA) Agriculture Mechanics contest.

The winning team from each of the seven regional competitions is invited to represent their region at the Nebraska State Envirothon Competition. An additional eight wildcard teams with the highest scores are also invited. The state champion goes on to represent Nebraska at the National Envirothon contest which will be in Springfield, Mo., July 27 through Aug. 1. Members of the top 10 teams from that event will be awarded national scholarships that can be used toward a four-year university, two-year college or trade school.


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