The Nebraska Innovative Youth Corn Challenge is approaching its 10th year of engaging youth in crop science-based education. IYCC was created as a partnership between the Nebraska Corn Board and Nebraska Extension.
Since the IYCC program’s inception in 2012, 74 teams have participated, with 37 teams successfully harvesting and analyzing their plot data. A total of 147 youth have participated over that time.
This program continues to evolve and has exciting changes planned for the 2021 growing season with IYCC 2.0. A citizen-scientist component will encourage youth to connect with researchers on a real problem facing corn growers and assist in collecting data or designing a tool to solve a real-world problem.
IYCC 2.0 also will feature an agricultural literacy piece that will help others understand corn production practices and highlight teams’ efforts. This will allow youth to promote their own work through creative works such as a video or other multimedia tools.
Nebraska Extension will execute this evolving, innovative and in-depth program in 2021. Prizes for participation in this project include team plaques and cash prizes: $1,000 for first place; $500 for second place; $250 for third place; and $200 for the “Extra Mile” award.
The CORNY Communications Award is $200, and $50 is awarded to all teams for completion of the project. In addition, each team receives a crop scouting kit valued at more than $200, a plot sign and the opportunity to engage with University of Nebraska agronomic professionals through “ask an agronomist” sessions.
Eligible youth include 4-H members who are age 10 and older as of Jan. 1, as well as any in-school FFA members. Registrations are due by March 15. To register, visit cropwatch.unl.edu/youth/cornchallenge. For more information, email Brandy VanDeWalle at email@example.com.