Although Pew Research shows 24 percent of teens are online “almost constantly,” teams of Iowa high school students ditched their devices to explore and dig into our state’s precious natural resources at the 22nd Iowa Envirothon. Held this year at the Des Moines YMCA Camp in Boone, the Des Moines FFA Team 2 rose to the top to claim the title of state champ. Teams from St. Ansgar finished 9th and 15th. The St. Ansgar FFA Blazing Stars took 9th and the St. Angar FFA Rattlesnakes Masters took 15th
Organized by the Conservation Districts of Iowa, Envirothon teams compete in environmental categories which include aquatics, forestry, wildlife, soils and current issues. Students put their knowledge and critical-thinking skills to the test by performing tasks like water quality analyses, soil identifications and delivering a presentation to a panel of judges. This year’s oral presentation topic, “Rangelands,” challenged youth to think about how they would manage prairieland for livestock grazing that also adjoined a water source, focusing on how they would maintain the integrity of the land.
The Iowa Farm Bureau Federation (IFBF) is proud to have sponsored the Envirothon since the event’s beginnings in 1996 because IFBF has long recognized the need to connect youth to soil and land stewardship. “One of the objectives of the Envirothon is to promote youth’s environmental awareness and encourage them to learn how to manage our state’s natural resources. It’s a goal that is shared by our farming members,” said IFBF Environmental Policy Advisor Rick Robinson. “We know the investment we all place in these kids will pay dividends in the future, because they’ll be motivated to develop new research and technologies to help farmers with improvements in the field.”
Iowa Farm Bureau wishes the Des Moines FFA 2 Team luck as they head to Pocatello, Idaho on July 22-26 to compete in the National Envirothon Competition.