Statewide agriculture competition to reward student innovation

The Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI) at Marshall University and a statewide group of partners announce the fifth-annual Student Ag Innovation Challenge to encourage problem-solving and innovation among West Virginia students interested in agriculture.

Students in grades seven through 12 are eligible to compete for multiple prizes, including a grand prize of $1,000 cash, an iPad and a $200 gift card. The competition emphasizes solving an agricultural issue in one of six focus areas: agribusiness systems; animal systems; environmental and natural resources management; food products and processing systems; plant systems; and power, structural and technical systems.

“Young people can inject fresh perspectives,” said Evan Nelson, manager of Agricultural Innovations at RCBI. “Past winners of our competition have developed some very innovative approaches to improving agriculture in the Mountain State. We’re excited to see the creative solutions that students propose this year.”

The student challenge is the centerpiece of the West Virginia Agricultural Innovation Showcase, presented annually by RCBI, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, the West Virginia Department of Education and Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College. The showcase will take place Oct. 20 on the campus of Eastern in Moorefield.

Students can enter the ag challenge at www.mfg.marshall.edu/innovation2021. They must submit short videos explaining their innovations by Oct. 10. Winners will be announced Oct. 20 during the showcase.

For more information, contact Nelson at or 304.781.1657.

The competition and showcase are made possible through the financial support of the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Sept. 15, 2021

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