Engaging Agriculture: ‘AgSplosion’ an educational experience for Panhandle youth

by Sarah Paisley | 4-H Youth Development Educator, Garden, and Morrill Counties

Cruzito Mendoza from Lincoln Heights Elementary takes soil back to his team. They will use the soil, a ruler, and popsicle sticks to measure and plant a crop in straight lines for a tractor with GPS to run on at the ag technology station. Photo by Chabella Guzman
May 9, 2024

Lincoln, Neb. — In April, students in several area communities experienced “AgSplosion,” the fourth annual ag literacy event that traveled across western Nebraska. 

Nebraska Extension staff from the Panhandle come together to put on six day-long events designed to engage youth in interactive sessions highlighting Nebraska's number one industry, agriculture. The AgSplosion event engages youth in hands-on activities to learn about Nebraska commodities ranging from dry edible beans to beef cattle and ag technology. 

Stations include: at the beef station students learn about beef production as well as the many beef byproducts; at corn, students experience the life cycle of a plant and learn about the Nebraska Corn Board triangle; the dairy station engages youth to make butter and learn about dairy operations; the swine session explains commercial swine operations and byproducts; ag technology explores the many changes that have taken place to make farming more efficient; the potato lesson allows youth to examine the growth and development of potatoes; the wheat station engages youth to grind wheat as well as learn about the plant cycle; and the bean lesson allows youth to see the many different types of dry edible beans grown across the panhandle.

This year's AgSplosion sites were Lodgepole, Bridgeport, Hemingford, Scottsbluff, Ogallala, and Chadron. Over 900 2nd-and 3rd-grade youth participated from 55 classrooms and 27 schools across the Panhandle.

The ag literacy event is sponsored by the Nebraska Corn Board, Farm Bureau - Morrill, Cheyenne, and Sheridan Counties, Oshkosh Heifer Development, and Walther Farms, Inc. 

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Nebraska Extension | 4-H