In order to continue to fuel the discovery of new solutions and solve big challenges in human health, agriculture and food, it will be critical to cultivate the next generation of leaders in science. Emma Burchett, Jacob Kirkland, Jacob Serio, and Lucy Smith recently got their chance to hone their agri-science skills at the National Youth Summit on Agri-Science in Washington, D.C.
Amanda Forquer, OSU Extension 4-H Educator in Morrow County, escorted the youth to this four -day Summit which was held at the National 4-H Conference Center, in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Nearly 250 youth were immersed in an agenda focused on a variety of agri-science topics relevant to today’s agriculture including: soil health, animal biosecurity, agribusiness, drones, honey bees, and precision farming.
Attendees from across the country had the opportunity to build their science skills in more than 15 sessions led by a number of industry leaders and mentors. “Because of the attendees being from so many different states I really enjoyed the diversity of everyone’s ideas. With having different backgrounds people had multiple ways of solving the same problems,” said Emma Burchett. Youth enjoyed the interactive sessions as they were easy to follow and most importantly easy learn about science!
One workshop paired eight youth with a scientist from Bayer. The scientist guided the youth through a simulation of the process necessary to get the idea of a new product, to having it available to consumers. “I didn’t realize how much time and the amount of money that is involved with bringing a product to market,” said Jacob Serio.
Two hours was dedicated to youth interacting directly with people working in the field of agriculture. This gave them the opportunity to learn how these successful professionals went from high school students to where they are today. They learned what schooling/training is needed, experience needed, how networking with professionals in the field is invaluable, and so much more. Emma learned there is a place for agriculture everywhere!
Throughout the conference our team of four had to develop a plan to solve a problem that they felt was happening within their community. The team created a presentation, Sparking Youth’s Interest in Agriculture, which would educate the community about 4-H and FFA which will result in them learning more about agriculture.
The 2018 National Youth Summit on Agri-Science was sponsored by Bayer and is just one part of Bayer’s commitment to grow the pipeline of tomorrow’s innovators in science and agriculture. Science matters, a nationwide collaboration between Bayer and National 4-H Council, leverages Bayer’s more than 150 years of scientific breakthroughs and 4-H’s century of hands-on learning to equip more than 25,000 youth with tools and support they need to deepen their understanding of science.