National 4‑H Council partnered with the United Soybean Board (USB) and state 4‑H programs to conduct AgriScience/Biotechnology programs in urban areas. In addition to providing an introduction to AgriScience/Biotechnology, youth learned concepts such as Agricultural Literacy, Global Food Security, Sustainability, and about the variety of career paths associated with the field.
As a result of this programming, it was evident that a guide for professionals and volunteers to deliver these programs was needed in order to increase the potential to reach more youth.
The following presentations and facilitator’s guide were developed with funding from the United Soybean Board (USB). These materials provide substantive science-based foundational knowledge of agriscience/biotechnology through the use of presentations, discussions and hands-on activities.
Facilitators gain a better understanding of agriscience/biotechnology, and be able to use the modules and facilitator guide to train other professionals and volunteers so that they will be equipped to facilitate youth programming.
The science of biotechnology is a discipline that is growing in importance. As populations increase, communities are looking to produce healthy, plentiful and environmentally responsible products.
Scientists and engineers are constantly experimenting and using technology to invent new bio-based products. In this activity, use your innovation skills to learn about soy science, and design products that utilize soy protein to create a new bio-based material.
While biochemists use chemistry principles to improve our soaps, biotechnologists work to develop plant traits that will improve the fatty acids for use in soaps, food and other industrial products. Try an easy melt-and-pour recipe to make soap that meets your own consumer standards.
When farmers and industrial companies work together to make bioproducts, the consumer wins; but how do everyday farmers make their products “green”? In this activity, choose a bio-based product, find the agriculture ingredient, create a consumer test, and report on your results.
Fats get a bad rap when it comes to the food we eat, so scientists are playing with plants to reduce the amount of trans fat in the foods we enjoy. Learn how to explore the types of fats you eat, monitor the amount of fat you consume in a day, and discover the role fats play in making food taste better.
Business and Economics
Until the Industrial Revolution, the U.S. economy was mainly focused on agricultural production. Since then, new technology and increased production capacity have altered the size and composition of the U.S. agricultural work force. Today, farming remains important to the economy because of its connection to a variety of industries, and agriculture-based technology holds promise for improving human well-being throughout the world.
Through this curriculum youth will understand the factors of production of land, labor, capital, and entrepreneurship as well as the concerns of producers and consumers.
Transportation plays an important role in agriculture, whether freight transportation or sending products across the water on a barge, moving cargo requires a combination of engineering and ingenuity. In this activity, learn about sustainable transportation design by building your own unsinkable cargo boat.
With billions of eggs being produced every year, agricultural, environmental, and mechanical engineer farmers must work to develop a means to collect and transport them safely. In this activity, design a solution to catch a single egg, and then test the prototype of your design.