Envirothon 2017: Current Issue

2017 South Dakota Envirothon Current Issue

This year, the current issue will be provided to the teams on the opening night.  Teams will receive information about “Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship” from our NRCS Natural Resource professionals in a group setting.  Following dinner/supper, the teams will be given a current issues scenario.  At that time, the teams will be asked to go to designated areas, without their phones, computers, or advisors, to create a problem-solving presentation for the given current issue.  Supplies will be provided.  They will get approximately 2 hours to create their presentation.  At the end of the 2nd hour, all materials, including their presentation, will be collected by the Envirothon Coordinator and other volunteers, and the teams will not see them again until it is time to present.  Presentations will take place in front a panel of judges following the testing of the 5 competency areas:  Aquatic Ecology, Wildlife, Forestry, Soils/Land Use, and a written test on the Current Issue.  Presentation preparation before the competition weekend is not needed, nor allowed, this year.  Looking forward to seeing you at Oacoma!

The 2017 NCF Envirothon will be held in Maryland, in July of 2017

for more information on that competition, please click on the link below.



2017  NCF- Envirothon  

Emmitsburg, Maryland
July 23 – July 29, 2017

 Maryland chose the topic for the Current Issue for the 2017 Envirothon, it is:

“Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship”
(2017 Current Topic)

All Information taken from the NCF Envirothon Website:  https://www.envirothon.org/the-competition/current-competition

Over the past 25 years, the Maryland Farmer has played an important role in the efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries.  Maryland has been a leader in the implementation of soil and water conservation best management practices to control sediment and improve water quality.   The Current Environmental Issue, Agricultural Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship, easily translates across all provinces and states. 

NCF-Envirothon participants will learn about the Maryland’s natural resources and engage in hands-on training and testing.  Students will learn the basic concepts of how agricultural Best Management Practices and all natural resource areas are interrelated by closely interacting with natural resource professionals.  By providing a lifelong learning experience for these students, they will learn the importance of maintaining a balance of the quality of life versus the quality of the environment as an agriculturist.   As part of the overall NCF-Envirothon program, students will gain an understanding of the importance of promoting soil and water conservation stewardship.  

 Revised – 7.23.16

Current Issue Learning Objectives

Key Topics

1.  Soil and Water Conservation best management practices; their purpose and implementation.

2.  How are soil and water conservation best management practices interrelated  to the management of wildlife, forestry and aquatic systems?

3.  How do agriculturists maintain a balance between their quality of life versus   the quality of the environment?


Learning Objectives

Upon completion of the training, the student will be able to:

1,  Identify and recommend soil and water conservation best management practices in agriculture.

2.  Describe the role of the federal government in conservation programs that benefit both agricultural producers and the environment.

3.  Identify the concept of soil quality/health to provide the needed functions for the conservation planning process.

4.  Identify various types of soil erosion and utilize different methods to estimate and predict soil erosion to assess land use impacts.

a.  RUSLE  2  Equation
b.  Aerial Photographs
c.  Topographic Maps
d.  Soil Maps
e.  USDA Classification System
f.  Soil Surveys

5.  Explain why land-use planning is important to our ecosystems and to our economy to achieve sustainable agriculture.

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Online Resources:

The Farm Bill 2014 Programs- Fact sheet describing the conservation programs



RCPP Projects by State-Link to Maryland projects (pdf)


 Farmers Guide to Conservation Stewardship Programs


Conservation Choices for Maryland Farmers          http://mda.maryland.gov/resource_conservation/counties/ConservationChoices_2012_FINAL%20(1).pdf

Guidelines for Soil Quality Assessment in Conservation Planning



USDA Guidelines for Soil Health Assessment



Soil Quality Indicator Facts Sheets



USDA official site for RUSLE



Understanding Erosion with the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation



Expanded Resources


Soil Science Management 6th Edition, Edward J. Plaster   (Contact: Delmar Cengage Learning)

 Revised – 7.23.16

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