Buffalo County youth solve a real-world challenge at the statewide 4-H Ag Innovators Experience Kick-Off

Buffalo County Ag Innovators programContact: Carissa Brooks, carissa.brooks@ces.uwex.edu

Local 4-Hers led a National Ag Day celebration that went beyond promoting agriculture to solving a real-world agriculture challenge. 4-H teen leaders Rachel Hovey of Lookout Legends 4-H and Abby George of Hilltop Climbers 4-H engaged fifty local youth in an interactive “Water Windmill Challenge” as part of the 4-H Ag Innovators Experience. The educational event took place on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 at the Cochrane – Fountain City School in conjunction with Buffalo County 4-H and 4-H Afterschool programs.

The participating youth were challenged to engineer a water windmill prototype using everyday materials to help generate wind-powered electricity to deliver clean, safe water to crops and farm animals. Youth worked in teams and used everyday materials, like a bucket, craft sticks, scissors and dowel rods, to build a simulated water windmill.

A special piece of the learning experience centered on the one percent of clean water that is currently available on the earth today. 4-H members used their math skills to determine that it takes over 700 gallons of water to produce one cheeseburger. Each young person was awarded their own cinch sack, agricultural prizes and a cheeseburger from the NorthEnd Pub & Grill in Cochrane, Wisconsin.

The 4-H Ag Innovators Experience program is presented  by National 4-H Council and Monsanto to help develop critical workforce skills in young people and show that agriculture can be relevant and fun. Over 10,000 youth across eight states will engage in the activity throughout the spring and summer.