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Finding a Future — Youth Agronomy Day Camp

The 2019 Agronomy Day Camp welcomed youth ages 12 to 18 and explored the different types of jobs and careers that the agriculture industry has to offer. On July 16, the youth day camp was held at the North Mississippi Research and Extension Center in Verona, Mississippi. Dr. Bill Burdine and his colleagues demonstrated many different types of work in the field of agronomy.

Participants received short lessons in irrigation, crop development and production, drones and scouting. After the short courses, participants were able to put what they learned into practice, including the opportunity to pilot a drone. In addition to piloting, they also learned how to analyze flight footage in real time on the monitors attached to the drone controls.

Specialists in corn, cotton and soybeans helped with the field scouting activities. Dr. Trent Irby, Extension soybean specialist for Mississippi, enjoys being able to help farmers across the state through his demonstrations. He also added that he feels it’s important to get young people excited about teaching, researching or farming with the most recent sciences involving soybeans and other sectors of agronomy. In his field demonstration, Irby challenged participants to identify different parts of the soybean plants and determine the growth stage.

Burdine hopes this program is shedding light on agronomy in the minds of young people.

“Agronomy and other agriculture sciences have a world of career options available; jobs range from high school to Ph.D. level, inside and outside work — the sky is the limit. I want them to see how science can pay well and be a very satisfying career,” Burdine said.

Through the support of MSPB and others, Burdine was able to provide at-home soybean experiments for each of the attendees. They determined what aspects of growth they wanted to research and left with soybean seeds, pots and soil to conduct their own research.

MSPB proudly supports the efforts of Burdine and his colleagues to educate and encourage young minds to pursue a future in agriculture. See additional information on future careers in agriculture here