Eight teams of youth from across Minnesota met at the University of Minnesota recently to share their research findings for the 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge. After months of data collection, project development, critical community and industry feedback, and careful mentoring, these young people presented their findings to judges who assessed both the process and product of their work.
The 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge is a hands-on learning experience to inspire Minnesota youth. Teams of two to eight participants in grades 6-12 work with volunteer coaches and mentors to identify agriculture-related issues in their communities and to develop and share solutions.
Each team gave formal presentations to compete for scholarships. Teams also shared their projects locally and worked to achieve a community engagement award for sharing the story of their project through presenting, radio interviews, print, and social media. Each team was recognized for their accomplishments through unique team awards from volunteer judges who represented the agriculture industry and educational entities.
First place went to a team from Beltrami County. The team created a curriculum to educate third- to-fifth-grade youth about gene editing. Second place went to a team from LeSueur County with a project based on using natural soil amendments to reduce effects of road salt on rye grass and switchgrass. Third place to another LeSueur County team with a project focused on creating wireless trailer lights for agriculture based vehicles. First-, second-, and third-place team members all receive scholarships to support post-secondary education goals.
Meeker County’s team was “The Donnay Duo” and included sisters Emma and Ellie Donnay from the Kimball Kruisers 4-H Club. They worked on a project to support early detection and treatment of milk fever in dairy cattle. The ladies were the youngest team to compete and received the “Inspiration Award” from the judges for enthusiasm and passion.
To learn more about 4-H in Meeker County, go to www.
extension.umn.edu/meeker, or call Cassidy Martin, 4-H Program Coordinator, at (320) 693-5275.