Crops, Programming, Youth

Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Projects are real life experiences that help 4-Hers learn to make sound decisions. Projects put the hands and mind to work. There are lots of opportunities for clubs to participate in community service projects and activities and it is important for clubs to participate in activities together as it builds teamwork and helps youth learn how to effectively accomplish a goal. A crops project that is also a contest is being piloted this year to provide youth the opportunity to think outside the box in producing an economical, but high yielding corn crop.  

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board have teamed up to offer the first Innovative Youth Corn Challenge contest. This team-oriented contest, open to 4-H members (age 10 & older as of Jan. 1st) or FFA members (in-school members), will guide youth through all aspects of corn production, as well as the agricultural careers related to corn production.  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. 

Goals of the contest are:achieve new, innovative, and economically feasible crop production methods to improve yields; provide research data for producers to implement in their operations; distribute data to corn producers, researchers, and agri-businesses for decision making purposes; introduce youth to a variety of agronomic professionals, including corn producers. 

Youth will work with an adult mentor throughout the process. Mentors can be 4-H leaders, extension faculty, ag teachers, or other qualified agronomy professionals.

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.  A data completion and innovation award will also be given.

To participate, youth must complete and return an entry form by March 1st to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at or 402.759.3712.

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