Tyler Long and Jace Streater of the Shawnee FFA Chapter in Oklahoma share their plant systems agriscience fair project with pathway sponsor Susanne Wasson, the vice president of commercial effectiveness—agriculture division for DowDuPont.

INDIANAPOLIS – From studying algae growth and analyzing leadership activities to researching how to improve soil nutrition: FFA members with a passion for agriscience have spent months preparing for the National FFA Agriscience Fair. Their hard work will come to a culmination this week at the National FFA Convention & Expo.

FFA agriscience projects focus on six career pathways – animal systems; environmental services/natural resources systems; food products and processing systems; plant systems; power, structural and technical systems; or social science – in six divisions. Those divisions are for individuals in grades 7-8; teams in grades 7-8; individuals in grades 9-10; teams in grades 9-10; individuals in grades 11-12; and teams in grades 11-12.

To qualify for the national agriscience fair, students had to win in their respective states, submit an application to National FFA, and be selected as one of the top 12 in their respective category and division. Each student also had to conduct a scientific research project pertaining to the agriculture and food science industries and present their findings to a panel of judges with a display and a report.

This event showcased more than 200 projects and was made possible by several pathway sponsors, including DowDuPont. “The National AgriScience Fair provides a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to FFA members,” noted Susanne Wasson, the vice president of commercial effectiveness—agriculture division for DowDuPont. “It exposes students to the broad scale of the agriculture industry and opens them up to so many possibilities within the vast field of agriculture.”

Tyler Long and Jace Streater of the Shawnee FFA Chapter in Oklahoma competed in division six of the plant systems category. Their project studied the effects of different watering methods on plants. “It took a lot of hard work to get here,” said Streater. “It is such an honor to be able to represent our chapter and state at the national level.”

The National FFA Agriscience winners will be announced in the fifth general session, which begins at noon on Friday, Oct. 27.

Katie Burns is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She works full time for the Illinois Association FFA as the communications specialist. Burns is serving as a reporter for the 90th National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Crew.