National 4-H Council and Monsanto Collaborate on 4-H Ag Innovators Experience
Illinois 4-H to help prepare future generation of ag leaders with interactive agriscience activity
St. Louis, Mo. (March 25, 2014) – Population trends project the world population will grow by two billion in the next 40 years, requiring a 70 percent increase in food production to feed the world. National 4-H Council and Monsanto Company announced today, during the National Ag Day observance, a new initiative to respond to this challenge by stimulating youth interest and involvement in agriculture.
The 4 H Ag Innovators Experience aims to make agriscience relevant and fun for youth, and help young agriculturalists develop the professional skills needed to meet rising global demand for food. The Experience will engage teen leaders across Illinois to lead thousands of their peers in an interactive agriscience activity.
Agriculture students and faculty at Ohio State University designed this year's activity, the "Fish Farm Challenge," which challenges participants to engineer a food-distribution system that evenly dispenses soy-based fish food over a 3' x 3' vinyl mat. The system design can then be transferred to an aquaculture tank on a tilapia farm. The goal is to help participants recognize the value of aquaculture, while stimulating innovative approaches to ensuring farm-raised fish have equal access to food.
"There are more than one billion people between the ages of 12 and 24, and we believe the young people of today are the farmers and ag leaders of 2050," said Christina Alford, executive vice president, External Affairs, National 4-H Council. "Monsanto has been a valued supporter of 4-H for many years and, together, we're making great strides in empowering more young people with the skills and confidence they need to excel as 21st century leaders."