This year the New York Corn and Soybean Growers Association is a major donor for the New York Youth Institute program. This partnership with the corn growers in particular highlights the importance of corn to the New York economy, the global market and the need to develop young people’s skills to innovate the industry for future growth. High school students from rural and urban cities, big and small, statewide, who participate in the New York Youth Institute will meet farmers this year. Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball will also give the opening lunch presentation on Friday, March 31st at Cornell.
This year we have the 77 students registered for the NY Youth Institute, the largest number in our 8 years and more than twice as many as last year’s group.
The New York Youth Institute: Seeds for Change program is a science-based education program to address the agricultural challenges for food security. Interactions with corn producers, a leading agricultural commodity for New York will help shape students’ perception of the importance to state and world. Students will learn about exciting opportunities for study and research that are transforming the future to make this enterprise successful. Teens learn global competency skills through research, communication and hands on experience in laboratories or internships.
The New York Youth Institute program prepares high school students with an education beyond the traditional classroom and provides them with the tools to lead in a “ever-changing world of modern agriculture.” This program complements FFA and 4H programs with the link to local agriculture and global agriculture. Both 4H and FFA students participate in the New York Youth Institute. Youth are the seeds for change and drive innovation.
The next generation of producers and researchers will help to find solutions to questions about emerging trends, obstacles, growth and change in the markets. Youth consider the health of the planet, sustainable energy needs and the world beyond visible borders, and early exposure to agriculture as practiced in New York is essential to direct careers and create a mutual understanding of both challenges and opportunities.