Land and soils may be judged much like animals, farm or horticultural crops. In judging crops, we look at the size, shape, and quality and determine which the best is. Similarly, when judging land, we look for clues that tell us how well the land can produce crops or be used for other purposes. Soil characteristics, climate, and topography are good clues to the soil’s capabilities, but close examination of the soil texture, structure, depth, permeability, reaction, degree of erosion, slope, drainage, and flooding are necessary to classify land into capability classes. In land judging, the major factors affecting how the land can be used must be determined. These factors are used to correctly recommend conservation practices and fertilizers for conserving the soil. Soil judging helps students to develop an appreciation for soils. The purpose of this contest is to encourage the in-depth study of soils and to provide students a practical, hands-on environment for judging and evaluating soils.