POSTERS: Outreach and education
Future scientists and farmers: Youth outreach to promote concepts of Integrated Pest Management
Maya Hayslett - Iowa State University. Adam Sisson- Iowa State University, Daren Mueller- Iowa State University, Lynne Campbell- Iowa State University
Youth education (ages 5-18) is an important component of university extension’s mission to share research-based information with the public, including providing current and future growers with the best tools for disease, insect and weed management. Youth are early adopters and an example for others in their community to follow. The Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program at Iowa State University has offered youth programs for ten years, with increased programming in recent years. The programs include crop scouting competitions, crop scouting workshops, online lessons, field days, and two National 4-H curricula on pollinators. The Iowa and Regional Crop Scouting Competitions let youth learn about pest management from experts. Survey results from the competitions show that youth increase their knowledge about IPM and are better prepared for careers in agriculture after participating. The pollinator curricula emphasize land management decisions to increase profitably and biodiversity. Survey results from these shows increased knowledge about the importance of pollinators and increased interest in science and agriculture. A field day on crop management with a focus on career opportunities including research is in development. Exposing youth to IPM concepts and the importance of using research-based information generates interest in careers in plant pathology and other crop sciences and can impact adoption of best practices in disease, insect and weed management.