First-place teams earn trip to National Competition 
The Wessington Springs 4-H Range and Land teams traveled to Redfield to compete for the right to represent South Dakota at the National Land and Range Contest.  The Range team placed first with Kirstie Munsen, 1st, Austin Schimke, 2nd and Kaden Wolter, 4th.  The Land team placed first with Braydin LaBore, 2nd, Blake Larson, 3rd and Carter Gaikowski,  4th.  Both teams will travel to Nationals next spring.
 
While the 2021 Rangeland and Soils Day event looked a little different this year, the annual contest still drew 4-H and FFA participants from across the state. Held on June 2, the event was split into two locations — a western South Dakota contest hosted by the Jones County Conservation District in Murdo and an eastern South Dakota contest hosted by the Spink County Conservation District in Redfield. The first place 4-H teams in each judging event from both contest locations will now advance to the National Land and Range Judging Contest in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma in May 2022.
 
In the Rangeland Judging event, contestants use their knowledge of soil and grassland plants to assess habitat suitability for livestock and wildlife. They also identify plants and their characteristics, determine if a certain site is meeting the management goals and recommend management practices to improve the site's functionality.
 
In the Land Judging event, contestants use their knowledge of soil and land to determine soil properties, recommend land treatments and fertility treatments and determine land capability class. Contestants also determine a site's suitability for homesite development including foundations, lawns, septic systems and sewage lagoons.
Contestants for each conteSt are evaluated individually, then individual scores are grouped together for a team score.