NEW PARIS — During class on Thursday, Sept. 5, National Trail’s AFNR (Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources) students had the opportunity to improve their soil science knowledge in a hands-on manner.
Teacher Eric Kennel took the students out to a soil pit where they could take soil samples, apply what they have been learning in the classroom, and even learn about potential jobs that use similar techniques.
Kennel noted, the Agriculture Department is intertwined with the FFA Program. These students are using the soil CDE (Career Development Event) to learn soil science.
“We are looking at textures of soil, the slope of the land, different land forms, and what are the characteristics of the soil for commercial use or agriculture use,” he said. “They will be collecting soil samples to use the soil ribboning method to texture the soil and they will be looking at water levels in the soil to identify drainage needs and any restrictive features the soil may have in it.”
According to student Garland Weaver, the class has been preparing for the lesson by learning about soil formation and erosion. They also discussed the various reasons behind soil sampling.
“For one thing, soil judging essentially tells you if the land is good for planting crops and what procedures agriculturalists may need to better manage the soil in terms of protecting it in terms of things like erosion,” he said. “It helps knowing whether or not land is good to build on, plant in, and steps to take to manage the erosion and deposition and such of that land.”
Student Sam Toms added, “Most people when they think of Ag, they only think of farmers, they don’t think of something they can do. Really, in Ag, there are so many different things you can do. There will, for sure, be one thing you can learn in class or in a project that can help you in your life.”
Student Haley Davidson spoke about the different skills she learned through soil science and how AFNR prepares students for the “grown up world.”
“If you don’t have exactly what you want to do in your mind, it teaches you some other [job possibilities]. It also teaches you skills you can use in the future, like, if you wanted to build a house, where it would be good to build. Or if you wanted to plant crops of a garden for your kids or something else that you’re doing,” she said. “I feel like it really prepares you for the grown up world.”
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH