Land & Range Judging Contests
Every two years the Nemaha NRD hosts the Southeast Area Land Judging Contest for high school students from a seven-county area. Land Judging is a high school competition where each participant learns how to recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship. Students actually travel to a site where they can see and feel the soil and answer questions during the half day contest. Though geared mostly toward FFA chapters, any student is eligible to compete. Awards are presented both to individuals and teams of 3 or 4 students, and winners who are FFA members advance to a state competition and possibly even the national contest.
Click here for more information about Land Judging in Nebraska.
The Nemaha NRD also hosts the Area 6 Range Judging Contest every few years. This contest is also for high school students competing in either a junior or senior division and may include FFA chapters, 4-H groups, or individuals. Similar to land judging, range judging allows students an opportunity to experience the grasslands of Nebraska with a hands-on identification portion as well as grassland use section of questioning. A state, regional, and national contest are also held.
Each spring teams of five high school students compete for the opportunity to advance to the state and possibly national Envirothon competitions. The teams are tested in the areas of soils, forestry, wildlife, aquatics, range, natural resources policy, as well as one national focus topic selected each year. Teams are divided into six regions throughout the state and advance to the state competition based upon their standing within their regional contests. The state contest is usually held in late April or early May at one of several locations throughout the state.
Click here for more information about the Nebraska Envirothon.
The Nemaha NRD co-sponsors with the Southeast Six Extension Programming Unit a two-day event for fifth graders. Entitled the "Water Celebration", the event began in 1989 and is currently held at Peru State College during their spring break each March. Approximately 400 fifth graders attend over the two-day period and experience hands-on learning about water in many forms.
With the "Home of Arbor Day" situated within the Nemaha NRD's borders, trees are an obvious emphasis. Each spring more than 600 third graders receive seedling trees from the NRD along with an opportunity to learn first-hand how to plant and care for a tree. NRD staff visit schools throughout the District delivering the trees and providing an actual planting demonstration and answering questions about trees.
Educational materials are presented for a variety of themes, including the national curriculums Project Wild, Project Learning Tree, and Project Wet. Teachers interested in obtaining these materials must attend a 6-hour workshop where they will learn how to put the materials to use in an easy and fun format. To set up a workshop or find out more about workshop dates, contact Jane Kuhl at the Nemaha NRD.