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  • Teen leaders from across Missouri join for 2024 State 4-H Ag Innovators Experience training.
  • Teen leader Lucas, left, facilitates the Protect the Plate activity with 4-H youths at a club meeting.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – More than 1,800 youths across Missouri learned more about precision agriculture by participating in the 2024 4-H Ag Innovators Experience Protect the Plate Challenge.

Twenty-two 4-H teen leaders taught others how to use their critical thinking skills to take part in solving a real-world agriculture challenge through activities that explored how different technologies have transformed agriculture, said Maria Calvert, University of Missouri Extension state 4-H agriculture educator. Participants also learned how farmers, government and consumers must continue to innovate, learn and adopt to grow more food in a sustainable manner while focusing on food safety, Calvert said.

One teen leader said the experience “opened my eyes to the measures farmers and government agencies must take to keep our food safe.” Another said, “My favorite part about the Ag Innovators Experience was being able to learn about and teach kids how the innovations that are occurring in the agriculture industry are helping to secure the food on their plates. Without the tools the American farmer is using today, our food supply could be in jeopardy, and I think it is really important that the general population knows that.”

4-H Ag Innovator teen leaders also met with 4-H members from Honduras, sharing information on food safety and leading them through the activity. Afterwards, the students asked questions to the group about the activity, about 4-H in Missouri and about life as a teenager in the U.S.

The 4-H Ag Innovators Experience, presented by National 4-H Council and Bayer, challenges youths to use STEM skills to solve a real-world issue while also driving youth interest in agriculture innovation and agricultural careers, Calvert said. Youths in Iowa, Nebraska, North Carolina, Illinois and Missouri participated in the Protect the Plate Challenge throughout the spring and summer.

About Missouri 4-H

Missouri 4-H grows today’s youth and prepares tomorrow’s leaders. With a blend of time-tested traditions and innovative hands-on learning, Missouri youth explore and find their spark in programs ranging from agriculture and conservation to aerospace and career development. Through clubs, programs, camps, in-school and after-school experiences, University of Missouri Extension faculty, staff and thousands of volunteers guide youth in developing essential skills, building confidence and fostering connections. Together, they inspire young people to make a real difference in their communities, their country and the world. To learn more about Missouri 4-H, visit 4h.missouri.edu.

Photos

https://extension.missouri.edu/sites/default/files/legacy_media/wysiwyg/News/photos/20240624-aie-1.jpg

Teen leaders from across Missouri join for 2024 State 4-H Ag Innovators Experience training.

https://extension.missouri.edu/sites/default/files/legacy_media/wysiwyg/News/photos/20240624-aie-2.jpg

Teen leader Lucas, left, facilitates the Protect the Plate activity with 4-H youths at a club meeting.

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