Five students from the Sutherlin FFA chapter traveled to the FFA National Soils and Land Judging Career Development Event held in Oklahoma City on May 1-4.

After two days of working with local soil scientists, the Sutherlin team earned a 10th place spot on the leaderboards out of 92 FFA teams from across the nation. Sutherlin FFA sophomore Keaten Clarno placing third high individual and senior Kalana Granger finishing 32nd out of the 363 FFA participants.

This success is seldom reached by an Oregon team because of the change in competition format at the national level. Individuals are required to understand the properties of soil along with its affects on what can be built or grown on the land.

The national format for the competition requires more memorization and learning about the rules of land classification. At the same time it requires less determination of specific soil properties than the Oregon soil competition. Students also have to discern some factors, such as slope of the land, without the aid of tools.

Another challenge in the national format involves the change in soil across the United States that provides a difficult factor to overcome since it was created by different processes than volcanic Oregon soil.

Sutherlin students qualified for nationals because of their hard work and the experience gained in winning district events and sweeping the Oregon FFA State Soil CDEs last October in Hood River.

“Soils has always been one of my favorite CDEs in the FFA,” said Mackenzie Price, a soils competitor and the Sutherlin FFA president. “It was so exciting to compete at the national level and meet people from all around the country who share my passion for soil sciences. It will always be one of my most cherished FFA memories.”


Sutherlin FFA Team — 10: Keaten Clarno, Kalana Granger, Mackenzie Price, Taryn Whelchel, Patrick Gerstner.

Sutherlin FFA Individual — 3:Keaten Clarno; 32:Kalana Granger.

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Education and Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Vera Westbrook is the education, nonprofits, and arts and entertainment reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4216 or by email at

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