For 43 years, the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council’s (NAYC) main goal has been the promotion of agriculture to Nebraska’s youth. NAYC consists of 21 college-age men and women who have dedicated their time and energy to educating youth about agriculture. The Council is selected annually to serve a one-year term. Membership is limited to three years.
Throughout their year, NAYC participates in an array of agricultural programs including the Governor’s Ag Conference, several elementary classroom visits, National Ag Week, Urban Youth Farm Tour, Nebraska State FFA Convention, as well as their premier event, the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute. All of these events give the Council an opportunity to learn more about agricultural opportunities available right here in Nebraska, as well as share their knowledge with the youth of this great state. The Council also holds their annual Industry Tours and Winter Retreat, which gives them the chance to interact with one another and strengthen friendships that attribute to the Council’s success.
In March, NAYC participated in National Ag Week with a number of visits to area elementary school classrooms. NAYC used different methods to show students where their food comes from. These methods included using a felt pizza and hamburger to showcase different agricultural products. Not only were these great hands-on experiences for the youth, but a new experience for some of the Council members.
Urban Youth Farm Tour, held in April, was a chance for nearly 300 area elementary school students to visit three Wahoo area farms; many for their very first time. The Council provided a fun and fact-filled day with hands-on experiences as to where food comes from, and the importance of agriculture in Nebraska. This day-long trip is an effort by the Council to close the gap between agricultural producers and consumers.
The week of July 7-11, 2014, will be the result of a year of dedication and work from the 2013-2014 NAYC. Bi-monthly meetings and various activities are held throughout the year to plan the events at NAYI 2014. Each year, the newly selected Council strives toward the common goal of creating a successful Institute. The diversity of ideas that were offered from the Council throughout this year will be why the 43rd NAYI will be bigger and better than ever before!
In today’s global society, agriculture is vitally important to provide food, fiber, and fuel for the growing population. As an agriculturally driven state, Nebraska is a key player and major provider in the world marketplace.
As we all know, the world population is projected to reach 9 billion by 2050. That means our generation will have to produce more food in the coming years than any previous generation. We believe our generation is up to this challenge, and we are ready to energize Nebraska’s youth about careers in agriculture. As head counselors, we help plan and facilitate a number of youth driven programs throughout the year, with our main priority being the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI).
NAYI is an opportunity for high school juniors and seniors to get a taste of the variety of opportunities in agriculture, network with industry leaders, and make connections with other youth from across the state who share a passion for agriculture and feeding the world.