Through the existing infrastructure of the U of I Sustainable Student Farm, Illinois 4-H, and Horticulture educators will collaborate to deliver engaging educational opportunities to college and high school-age youth. Utilizing FarmBot open-source precision gardening technology, we seek to provide support to U of I Crop Science & Ag. Ed. students in which they will work under the guidance of the Crop Sciences department and the Sustainable Farm manager to develop the functional and educational capacity of the FarmBot. Working with Illinois 4-H, the students will assist in delivering hands-on learning to community youth.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Build the capacity of the U of I Sustainable Student Farm to reach Illinois youth with hands-on experiences that teach the skills/mindsets necessary to be successful in sustainable career choices.
- Pilot an educational program that can then be used to reach Illinois 4-H youth around the state in sustainable and regenerative agriculture.
- Allow Illinois 4-H and U of I Extension to reach new audiences with its programming, thereby increasing interest among youth in career/college/life opportunities connected to Ag.
- Demonstrate success in sustainable agriculture programming that can be replicated state/nationwide.
- Share project results with educators at the 4-H Global Conference in Tanzania, 2020.