Attention 4-H and FFA members! Do you enjoy being outside? Learning new things about crops? Considering a career involving crops, insects, diseases, soils, water or more? Do you want to help figure out how to feed our world’s growing population in a sustainable way?
Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board are offering the sixth Innovative Youth Corn Challenge contest. This contest, open to 4-H members (age 10 & older as of Jan. 1st) or FFA members (in-school members), guides participants through all aspects of corn production, as well as agricultural careers related to corn production.
As a team (2 or more participants), youth will be challenged to implement a production practice different than normal to determine if they increased their yield. Economics and sustainability of the practice will also be considered. Yields, cropping history, and production information will be collected in the Corn Yield Challenge management summary.
Each year youth are surveyed and an overwhelming majority indicate an improvement in knowledge in the areas of: economic thresholds to treat pests, crop scouting procedures, financial record keeping, determining if practices on a field are profitable and how to evaluate new products/practices on a field. One youth stated, “I learned about how much time and hard work is needed to care for corn.” Several other youth enjoyed meeting new people (as a result of the Innovative Youth Corn Challenge). Another participant said, “I realize what I do today matters for tomorrow.”
Cash prizes and plaques will be given to the first, second, and third place teams. First place will receive $1,000, second place will receive $500, and third place will receive $250. Sustainability, crop scouting and “extra mile” awards will also be given, each worth $200. A webpage and FaceBook page are available with resources to help participants complete their project that can be found at cropwatch.unl.edu webpage under “related topics” titled “youth and youth activities”.
To participate in 2017, youth must complete an online entry form by March 15th to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. Hard copy forms can also be downloaded. For more information, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.