Left to right: N.C. A&T Extension associate Kurt Taylor, Qudre Joyner, Joshua Puac-Puac and Bertie County 4-H Extension agent Guy Holley.

Two Bertie County 4-H members, Qudre Joyner and Joshua Puac-Puac, recently had the opportunity to demonstrate their agri-science skills at the National 4-H Youth Summit on Agri-Science in Washington, D.C., Jan. 9-12. 

With N.C. A&T Extension associate Kurt Taylor and their local 4-H Extension agent Guy Holley, the young men co-facilitated two workshops at the conference and helped teach an activity on germination, part of the No Soil, Just Water curriculum being developed by Cooperative Extension at N.C. A&T State University. 

As the only youths whose attendance was supported by an 1890 institution, they also blazed trails, teaching the participants at their well-attended session how to say the “Aggie Pride!” slogan. 

“I learned that different states are fighting similar food struggles, and these are considered very solvable by agriculture,” Joyner said. “I also had the opportunity to learn more about other people’s experiences with agriculture in different states and Puerto Rico, and gained a better understanding of the challenges my generation will be facing, and learning that we are capable of handling these new world issues.” 

At the conference, Joyner and Puac-Puac participated in a variety of sessions on such topics as precision agriculture, food security, hydroponics, biotechnology and animal science, and concluded their experience by developing an action plan to address local challenges. They were also able to explore careers the agri-science industry. 

“I literally saw a robot helping to grow food,” Puac-Puac said. “That was the best part.” 

“With increased challenges facing our communities and the agriculture industry, it is essential to design youth-driven programs dedicated to identifying ways to improve health, agriculture and food,” Taylor said. 

The 2020 National 4-H Youth Summit on Agri-Science was sponsored by Bayer, The CHS Foundation, ADM and Microsoft.