4-H Students Take on Agriculture Challenges in Their Community

June 20, 2017 06:45 PM

It's a event designed to inspire the next generation of agriculture leaders in the state.

The Minnesota 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge took place Tuesday on the University of Minnesota campus.


Youth teams partner with local expert mentors to develop science-based responses to agriculture-related issues they have identified in their communities.

Youth explore issues in the areas of agronomy, animal husbandry, soil science, ag business, rural finance, food science, engineering and more. Youth are encouraged to be creative in exploring and developing solutions.

"Technology is very much integrated into agriculture and agriculture is involved in everything from architecture to environmental studies to nursing and health, agriculture touches everything," said Mike Compton, who works in the U of M Extension program. 

The USDA says there are about 35,000 jobs the ag industry can't fill. 

Katie Kent and other 4-H students from Douglas County took part in the event. The group is raising a turkey and will travel to Washington D.C. this fall to present the bird to President Donald Trump for the presidential turkey pardon. 

"I think it's a really cool experience," Kent said. "I've actually never been out East."

Minnesota's Turkey Farming Industry by the Numbers

  • Minnesota is ranked No. 1 for turkey production and is home to the world's largest turkey hatchery. 
  • Turkey farming generates $800 million in econoimc activity for the state, and the industry supports 26,000 Minnesota jobs.
  • The state has more indepedent turkey farmers than any other state, and many are third-, fourth- or fifth-generation family farmers
  • 90 percent of turkeys are exported out of Minnesota


Joe Mazan

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