KIRKWOOD, Mo. – With increased challenges facing our communities and the agriculture industry, it is essential to design youth-driven programs dedicated to identifying ways to improve health, agriculture and food.
Thirteen innovators of tomorrow—Candace Betts, Bianca Bowser, Benjamin Brandt, Kaitlynn Foster, Rachel Fry, Abi Gorline, Mia Hoormann, Isabella Karanja, Drachen Koester, Anna Loucks, Samantha Ott, Olivia Pfeiffer and Anushka Ramgounda—recently got the chance to hone their agri-science skills at the National Youth Summit on Agri-Science in Washington, D.C. Youth were accompanied by St. Louis County 4-H specialist Amanda Meek and interns Bailey Lutz and Aimee Pieper.
For three dynamically engaging days, the 4-H’ers participated in a variety of sessions on topics focused around precision agriculture, food and health, animal science, wildlife biology, bio-based products, and bioenergy. With support from industry leaders, youth not only built skills and knowledge but also explored careers in the agri-science industry.
Youth also developed a community action plan to implement throughout the year to raise awareness about a social issue and to make an impact in their communities. One teen said, “I learned that we need to be proactive and get others involved. The impact is far greater if we influence others to take steps to change the community.” The youth in St. Louis will be focusing on the issues of food insecurity, waste reduction and animal care.
The 2019 National 4-H Youth Summit on Agri-Science was sponsored by Bayer, The CHS Foundation and ADM.
The nation’s largest youth development organization, 4-H grows confident young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for careers tomorrow. 4-H programs empower nearly 6 million young people across the U.S. through experiences that develop critical life skills. University of Missouri Extension 4-H connects the technical knowledge of Mizzou to youth across Missouri learning about the sciences, leadership, citizenship and skills for life. For more information, visit 4h.missouri.edu.