The Robert C. Byrd Institute at Marshall University and a statewide group of partners are announcing the fifth-annual Student Agriculture Innovation Challenge to encourage problem-solving and innovation among West Virginia students interested in agriculture.
Students in grades 7-through-12 are eligible to compete for multiple prizes, including a grand prize of $1,000 cash, an iPad, and a $200 gift card, according to Evan Nelson, manager of Agricultural Innovations at the institute.
The competition emphasizes solving an agricultural issue in one of six focus areas—agribusiness systems; animal systems; plant systems; food products and processing systems; and power, structural and technical systems; and environmental and natural resources management.
Evan Nelson, manager of Agricultural Innovations at the institute, says the organization is depending on youth to lay the framework for the future of agriculture in the Mountain State.
“Young people can inject fresh perspectives,” Nelson said.
“Past winners of our competition have developed some very innovative approaches to improving agriculture in the Mountain State. We’re excited to see the creative solutions that students propose this year.”
The student challenge is the centerpiece of the W.Va. Agricultural Innovation Showcase, presented annually by RCBI, the W.Va. Department of Agriculture, the W.Va. Department of Education, and Eastern W.Va. Community and Technical College.
The showcase will take place Oct. 20 on the campus of Eastern in Moorefield.
Students can enter the ag challenge at RCBI.org/innovation2021. They must submit short videos explaining their innovations by Oct. 10. Winners will be announced Oct. 20 during the showcase.
The competition and showcase are made possible through the financial support of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.