Youth

Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Those who know me probably know how much I enjoy working with youth. I’ve taken a statewide leadership role in Nebraska Extension engaging youth in the crop sciences and one of the programs that has came to life is the Innovative Youth Corn Challenge. This has been a very rewarding effort seeing the excitement and pride of the youth who have completed their project and the appreciation from their parents for offering this program. Recently, we held the Innovative Youth Corn Challenge (IYCC) banquet to recognize teams for the accomplishments, which I’ve decided to share in this week’s article.BanquetCollage15

Nebraska Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board teamed up to offer the third Innovative Youth Corn Challenge contest in 2014. This contest, open to 4-H members (age 10 & older as of Jan. 1st) or FFA members (in-school members), guided participants through all aspects of corn production, as well as agricultural careers related to corn production.

The 2014 winning team was from the Fillmore Central FFA chapter, consisting of Adam Hoarty,IMG_20140613_093836_936 Garrett Whitley, Tyler O’Conner, Logan Peppard and Aaron Poppert. The team with the highest percent yield increase over their local county average is the winner. In earning the $1,000 first-place award, Fillmore Central FFA tested corn-seeding rates on irrigated ground to determine the optimum rate. Their check plot of 32,000 seeds per acre yielded 253 bushels per acre, while their challenge plot, planted at 38,000, yielded 281 bushels per acre.

Second-place team overall was the Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club of Cuming County, earning $500 for their efforts. Team members tested two different sources of sulfur–gypsum (calcium sulfate) and ammonium sulfate. The check plot of 167 bushels per acre yielded the highest. The ammonium sulfate treatment produced 164 bushels per acre and gypsum 163 bushels per acre. The Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club included Kaleb Hasenkamp, Angela Rolf, Matthew Rolf, Levi Schiller and Payton Schiller.

Third-place team was the Eagle Hustlers 4-H Club in Holt County, which tested a product, called Pervaide, which was developed to reduce compaction. The challenge plot yielded 213 bushels per acre, while the check plot yielded 210 bushels per acre. The Eagle Hustlers 4-H Club consisted of Miles and Jace Stagemeyer of Page.

SueEllenAs a team, youth worked with an adult mentor throughout the process. Mentors can be extension faculty, ag teachers, or other qualified agronomy professionals. Other awards were handed out recently during the banquet in Lincoln:

  • The Data Completion Award, worth $200, went to the Kornhusker Kids 4-H Club.
  • The Innovation Award, worth $200, was presented to the Eagle Hustlers 4-H Club.
  • The Limited Resource Award went to both the Eagle Hustlers team and Fillmore Central FFA Chapter, which will split the $200 award.

To participate in 2015, youth must complete and return an entry form by March 15th to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE. 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.

Forms can be downloaded at UNL’s CropWatch-Youth webpages. For more information, contact myself at brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu, Aaron Nygren at anygren2@unl.edu or Amy Timmerman at atimmerman2@unl.edu.

Updates on the progress of the Corn Challenge can be found on FaceBook! Tweet about it using #IYCC!

Programming, Youth

Innovative Youth Corn Challenge

Below I’m featuring information about a program in its third year, which involves youth utilizing knowledge in crops, specifically corn.Today’s agricultural world faces several challenges, one of them being the decline of our most valuable resource, the future workforce. Keeping youth in rural communities and involved in production agriculture is important to the agricultural industry. With the global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, there is and will be the need for more young people to engage in agricultural careers to feed the world.CornYieldChallenge

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board have teamed up to offer the 3rd 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), will guide youth through all aspects of corn production, as well as agricultural careers related to corn production.  As a team, 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.

As a team, youth will work with an adult mentor throughout the process. Mentors can be 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. Faced with a persistent drought, there will also be a “limited resource” award, which will be based on participants achieving a higher yield with limited inputs.

To participate, youth must complete and return an entry form by April 1st to the Fillmore County Extension Office in Geneva, NE.  For more information, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu, Aaron Nygren at anygren2@unl.edu or Amy Timmerman at atimmerman2@unl.edu.

Crops

Innovative Youth Corn Challenge Banquet Approaching

When I first came into Extension I sought for ways to incorporate my agricultural education teaching experience with the adult crops programming.  Last year, I was able to get a project up and rolling which I’ve been involved and is approaching its one year completion which is exciting to see my two passions – youth and agriculture come together.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension and the Nebraska Corn Board have teamed up to offer the First Annual Innovative Youth Corn Challenge contest. This contest was open to 4-H members or FFA members and challenged them to create an innovative, yet economical way to increase yields in their own corn plot. As a team youth were challenged to implement a production practice different than normal to determine if they increased their yield.  Yields, cropping history, and production information is being gathered by participants.

Six teams completed proposals and projects in this pilot year. Teams are the Super Strong H’s 4-H club from Polk County, Humphrey FFA, Wrangler’s 4-H Club from Platte County, Fillmore Central FFA, David City FFA, and the Pioneers 4-H Club from Madison County.

Cash prizes and plaques will be given to the first, second, and third place teams at the Corn Yield Challenge Banquet set for December 5, 2012 at UNL’s East Campus.

Youth interested in participating next year should go to cropwatch.unl.edu/youth/ website. For more information, contact myself at brandy.vandewalle@unl.edu.