For 41 years, the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Council’s (NAYC) main goal has been the promotion of agriculture to Nebraska’s youth. The NAYC consists of 18 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, the 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, the NAYC participated in National Ag Week with a number of visits to area elementary school classrooms. The 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 9-13 is the result of a year of dedication and work from the 2011-2012 NAYC. Bi-monthly meetings and various activities were held throughout the year to plan the events here at NAYI 2012. 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 is why the 41st NAYI is bigger and better than ever before.
Gavin Kenney & Haley Harthoorn
NAYC Head Counselors
Agriculture is the foundation of Nebraska’s economy, responsible for one in three jobs within the state. It also is an industry that is changing rapidly. The practices and technology in use today are very different than those used by our fathers and grandfathers, which means there is going to have to be a new generation of professionals to keep up with the times. That is why we are proud to have a part in the Nebraska Agricultural Youth Institute (NAYI). As an NAYI participant, you will have the chance to listen to and interact with speakers from various sectors of the agricultural industry, learn about the different facets of agriculture, and interact with friends who may influence you for a lifetime. The opportunities that result from participation in NAYI are endless! We encourage everyone, agricultural background or not, to apply for NAYI and see what the future holds for you.