The Indiana Soybean Alliance sponsors an Indiana 4-H Foundation program focused on teaching high school students about biotechnology, food security, sustainability, ag literacy, ag career paths and much more.
The goal of this program is to equip the students with the training and knowledge they need to return to their communities and teach other youth in after-school programs, 4-H clubs and classrooms about these subjects.
The first session of this program took place in February of this year when 73 students participated in a workshop at the Indiana State Fairgrounds and the Glass Barn. This session was entitled "Teens Teaching Youth Agriscience/Biotechnology."
During this workshop, curriculum originally developed by the United Soybean Board, Get Biotech Smart, was used. It is a website and curriculum offered to teachers and students that presents tools and resources for researching the connection between biotechnology and critical issues facing today's world.
The second session of the workshop was June 11-13 and included visits and a hands-on session. The group visited Beck's Hybrids in Atlanta, Ind., the Purdue University campus in West Lafayette and participated in a hands-on session about genes and biotechnology with Kathryn Orvis.
"These young people are our future scientists, politicians and other leaders," says Laura Foell of the United Soybean Board Biotech Initiative. "We want to make sure that all youth, not only your that are in traditional rural communities, but urban communities as well, have this background in order to make sound decisions affecting how we raise our food."