Blair 4-H Youth compete at Ag Challenge

Courtesy photo Members of the Blair County 4-H Science of Agriculture team pose with their research poster. They are (from left): Darcy Heltzel, Dana Heltzel, Garrison Dibert and Kase Smith.

STATE COLLEGE — Four Blair County 4-H members, making up the Blair County 4-H Science of Agriculture Team, competed against 10 other teams from across the state June 19 to 21.

Team members Kase Smith, Garrison Dibert, Darcy Heltzel and Dana Heltzel gave their presentation titled “Something Fishy” to a panel of judges as a culmination of several months of research, data-collection and experimentation.

The team researched the effects of using goldfish to clean livestock tank waterers to decrease the amount of algae present on the sides and bottom of the tank.

They also conducted water testing to ensure safe water quality for the livestock via test strips as well as sampling for laboratory testing.

The team’s presentation included how they decided upon their topic, how they conducted their experiment and collected evidence and their results using quantitative and qualitative data.

The team also put together a research poster outlining their project.

Wayne County 4-H teens were named the winners of the event, hosted by Penn State Extension’s 4-H Youth Development program, after competing amongst more than 40 4-H youth from throughout the commonwealth, in grades six through 12.

“The Pennsylvania 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge offers youth throughout the commonwealth the opportunity to discover solutions to real challenges being faced in their communities and the agriculture industry,” said Joshua Rice, assistant program director for Penn State Extension’s 4-H and Youth Development program.

“This program helps equip youth with invaluable skills needed to prepare them for careers in the food and agriculture field.”

The Pennsylvania 4-H Science of Agriculture Challenge engages youth in navigating opportunities in Pennsylvania’s food and agriculture industry and workforce.

The concept of the program was built upon the six Pillars of Agricultural Literacy as designed by American Farm Bureau.

The six pillars involve the relationship between agriculture and the following topics: Animals; Environment; Food, Fiber, and Energy; Lifestyle; Technology; and Economics.

These pillars were the basis used by the teams to determine their presentation topic, as well as serving as the basis for the competition. Each team selected a topic that falls under one of the pillars.

They then competed against other teams in the same pillar to be named the winner of that specific pillar.

The winning team then proceeded to compete against the winners of the other pillars to be named the winner of the Pennsyl-vania 4-H Science of Agri-culture Challenge.

Blair County is currently recruiting for their 2019-20 4-H Science of Agriculture team.

Youth in grades six through 12 who are interested in research, public speaking and science are encourage to call the Blair County Extension Office at 940-5989 and ask for Kristy Bigelow, 4-H coordinator.

Administered in Pennsylvania by Penn State Extension, 4-H is a community of more than 6 million young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Penn State Extension 4-H youth development educators in all

67 counties throughout

the commonwealth administer local 4-H programs through non-formal education and outreach.


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