High School Contests

Credit: Lori Potter, Kearney Hub


The Envirothon is an environmental and natural resources education competition, reaching more than 25,000 high school students across the United States, Canada, and China annually. The Nebraska Envirothon is a competition designed for high school students (9th-12th grades) to test their knowledge about the environment.

Five-member teams compete to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding in aquatics, forestry, soils, wildlife and a current environmental issue. The top team from each state, province and nation partner participate in the annual NCF-Envirothon. The goal of the annual competition is help shape our future leaders’ knowledge in natural resources issues.


Congratulations to the Central Region winners:
First Place:  St. Paul Team #1
Second Place: Ord Team #1
Third Place: Aurora


Central Platte NRD & Lower Loup NRD co-host the Central Region competition. The competition will be held at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 28th in Columbus at the Central Community College-Platte Campus. The Special Topic this year is Waste to Resources. A study guide on this and all the Envirothon topics are available on the Envirothon website at https://www.nrdnet.org/nebraska-envirothon

Statewide Newsletter

Teams that score the highest at each regional contest are invited to the Nebraska State Envirothon to be held April 26, 2023, at Cedar Point Biological Station at Lake McConaughy in
Ogallala, NE. The winner of that contest will go on to represent Nebraska at the National Conservation Foundation (NCF) contest to be held in July 2023.

Note: Schools may compete at ANY regional contest; however, you may only compete in one regional contest per year.  NOTE: Flexible Testing Flexible times are allowed for students competing in District Ag sessions.

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Foundation is the annual sponsor of the Nebraska Envirothon. The NARD Foundation gives $1,500 to 1st place winning team, $1,000 to 2nd place, and $500 to the third-place team. Each team must use the money to enhance their high school’s Envirothon and natural resources & agriculture programs. The winning team can also use it to help pay their way to the international competition. Each team member on the winning team is also awarded a $500 scholarship by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to be used towards a major in the College of Agricultural Sciences & Natural Resources.

Your Contacts:
Brody Vorderstrasse, Central Platte NRD  215 Kaufman Ave, Grand Island NE 68803
Fax: (308) 385-6285     Email: brody@cpnrd.org     Tel: (308) 385-6282

Alan Bartels, Lower Loup NRD 2620 Airport Drive, Ord, Nebraska 68862
Email: abartels@llnrd.org      Tel: (308) 728-3221

State Envirothon Contest

Envirothon Competition Qualifies 14 Teams for State
Nebraska High School Students’ Natural Resources Knowledge Shines

Between Feb. 1 and March 7, Nebraska high school students competed around the state during regional Envirothon competitions demonstrating natural resources knowledge by identifying trees and animal tracks, calculating the number of steers on rangeland, and determining soil structure.  The winning teams from each Envirothon region as well as eight wildcards – selected based on their competition scores – qualify to compete at state. Out of the 86 teams that competed, this year’s state qualifiers include:

Regional Winners/Wild Cards School Name
Southeast Milford Team 1
Mid-Plains Dawson County Envirothon Club
Central St. Paul Team 1
Metro Concordia 1 (Omaha)
West Alliance Team 1
Northeast Burwell Team 2
Wild Card 1 R3 - Zoo Academy (Omaha)
Wild Card 2 Norris
Wild Card 3 Ord Team 1
Wild Card 4 Aurora Team 1
Wild Card 5 Tri-County
Wild Card 6 Bennington Blue
Wild Card 7 St. Paul Team 2
Wild Card 8 Loup City Team 1

Traditionally, Nebraska’s six regional Envirothon competitions are hosted in conjunction with district agriculture education contests. High school students compete on five-member teams in seven environmental areas including: soils, aquatics, forestry, wildlife, range, policy and a current environmental issue.

Qualifying teams will compete at the State Envirothon April 26, at Cedar Point Biological Station near Ogallala. During the state competition, teams compete in hands-on environmental testing stations as well as prepare and deliver an oral problem-solving presentation focusing on “Adapting to a Changing Climate.”

The Nebraska Association of Resources Districts (NARD) Foundation awards cash prizes to the top three teams at the state competition:

  • First Place: $1,500
  • Second Place: $1,000
  • Third Place: $500

Learn more about the Nebraska Envirothon at www.nrdnet.org/nebraska-envirothon.

NCF-Envirothon iNaturalist Project

Engage your students during winter break by getting them back into nature! The NCF-Envirothon iNaturalist project is an exciting distance engagement opportunity designed to help continue the hands-on, experiential learning that is foundational to the Envirothon program. For more information about the project, including how to join, click here!

Land Evaluation

Land Judging is a high school competition that challenges students to gain a better understanding of soil structure and land evaluation. Land Judging enables each participant to learn how to recognize the physical features of the soil, determine land capability for crop production, and evaluate management practices needed for proper stewardship. Soil, land and home-site evaluation provide a setting for students to investigate the soils in their region, the environment that surrounds them and their effect on their daily lives. There are three divisions as part of the contest – students, adults, and professionals.

During the competition, students judge four soil pits using an evaluation card to make assessments on: soil depth, surface texture, permeability, slope, thickness of surface and erosion. Each evaluation card is scored and added together to determine overall scores for individuals and the team. In order to compete in the state contest, teams advance from one of the seven regional competitions hosted across the state in October.

South Central Contest  - hosted by CPNRD & NRCS in Hall County



Range Judging

Range Judging Contests are high school competitions that provide students opportunities to have fun while becoming better educated on sustaining the yield of rangeland products by enhancement and protection of the range resources of soil, water, and plant and animal life. The Range Judging season consists of six regional events followed by a state contest. The contest rotates to different counties each year and tests participants on range plant identification, rangelands and plant community change, and range condition.

2021 Area 4 Range Judging Contest  - hosted by Central Platte NRD and NRCS 
DATE:               Wednesday, September 15
LOCATION:      Dawson County
CHECK-IN:      8:30 a.m. at Dawson County Fairgrounds, 1000 Plum Creek Pkwy, Lexington, NE 68850

There are 3 contest divisions: Junior (sophomore class and under), Senior (junior & senior class), and Adult. As per the Range Judging rules, do not put your students on teams. The scoring program will automatically sort students by the highest to lowest scores, placing your top scoring students on the same team. Scoring will take place at the CPNRD office in Grand Island on September 16th.