When you hear the word agriculture, it probably evokes words like “farming, livestock or dirt” and maybe even the smell of manure. For people who work in the agriculture industry, it reminds them of words like “hard work, long days, sweat” and the smell of money. But did you know that science and technology- especially engineering- play an ever increasing role in supplying our nation (and world) with a safe and affordable food supply?
Thanks to generous support from HughesNet, 4-Hers across Florida have been learning just how much the agriculture industry needs technology. This week, 4-Hers from Jackson, Liberty, Gadsden and Leon counties participated in an engineering day camp. Each day, they learned how civil engineers design the infrastructure needed for farmers to get their food from the farm to tables across the state and nation. The program concluded with an engineering challenge at the North Florida Fairgrounds in Tallahassee.
Youth had two hours to design, build and test a bridge that would hold a large semi-truck of produce. The results were inspiring! Teams were judged on their creative use of materials, innovative design, teamwork and communication skills. They also completed a skill-a-thon to showcase their knowledge of bridge design. This challenge was practice for the contest that will be held in November during 4-H Day at the North Florida Fair. To find out more information about other 4-H programs like this, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.