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Area students get a chance to play in the sod

April 25, 2014

Sifting through the Custer County sod at the UNL East Campus soils lab, from left, are Chase Corbin, Shawn Johnson, Erin Carr (UNL Anthropology student), Trevor Scott and Michael Hoblyn-Shoemaker. The students (other than Carr) are all from Ansley High School.

Last November history was made in rural Custer County, when a section of a 110-year-old sod house was “harvested” for research. Last month a group of high school students from three Custer County high schools were given the unique opportunity to get their hands dirty, and get an up-close look at the historical research.

Ansley Principal Lance Bristol is a member of the Custer County Historical Society, and therefore has an active interest in the sod house project. Bristol says he was talking to a group of high school students shortly after the article on the harvest of the sod wall appeared in the Nov. 21, 2013 edition of the Chief, and asked the students if they had read the story. Conversation on the subject ensued, and the students displayed some interest in learning more about it. Bristol then contacted John Carter at the State Historical Society, who became excited at the fact that high school students were actually interested in the project. Carter made all the arrangements for the students to visit the UNL anthropology and soils departments.

When plans for the trip began to come together, Bristol contacted Mr. Dunbar at Anselmo-Merna High School and Mr. Kozeal at Sargent High School. Those teachers both expressed interest in taking a group of students as well.

“Anytime you can relate kids to their own heritage, it is a real eye opener for them,” said Brandon Grosserode, ag instructor at Ansley.

For full story see the April 24, 2014, Custer County Chief.

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