Iowa is leading the five-state implementation of the National 4-H Ag Innovators Experience featuring “Monarchs On the Move!” Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Illinois are aiming to reach 5,000 youth from urban, suburban and rural backgrounds: getting them interested in agriculture innovation and careers, and giving them the opportunity to develop workforce skills to feed the planet. Iowa State is a member of the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium in partnership with farmer and conservation organizations, state agencies and companies.
Iowa was chosen to be the lead state through a competitive grant process, and we received $20,000 to develop the curriculum. Lynne Campbell, professional development specialist, leads the development team that includes Maya Hayslett (Crop Sciences), Amy Powell (Animal Science), Brandon Kleinke (Integrated Pest Management), Cayla Taylor (4-H Youth Development), and ISU Extension, Outreach Senior Director Chad Higgins from Iowa State; and Richard Hellmich and Keith Bidney from USDA-ARS.
Three teen leaders and one adult leader from each state will attend the national training on the curriculum at Reiman Gardens Feb. 2-4. Later, each state’s teen leaders will train 20 additional youth to lead local and regional events.