4-H Science of Agriculture Back »

The 4-H Science of Agriculture will engage youth in exploring and developing science-based solutions to agricultural problems they have identified in their communities. 4-Hers will work on teams of 3-4 youth, in 6th grade and above. Participants will attend a statewide event to present their 4-H Science of Agriculture projects, which will be evaluated and judged. The team with the highest scores at the end of the event will be recognized and each member of the team will receive $1,000 scholarship for any college, university, or accredited trade school. Youth will also have a chance to connect with representatives from the University and agribusiness community, who are eager to meet the next generation of leaders in agriculture and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).


Through “hands on” 4-H agriculture, science, technology, engineering, and math learning experiences, youth will:

  • Get excited about and interested in agriculture and STEM.
  • Have a greater understanding and knowledge of food production and its importance in our economy and world.
  • Gain 21st Century skills, including technology, health, business and economic literacy, critical thinking, problem solving, initiative and self-direction.
  • Consider and connect with agricultural-related studies at the university level while being exposed to and exploring future careers in agriculture.

Events & Deadlines

  • October – November: Informing the Community
    Information about the Challenge will be shared with 4-H clubs, youth, families, and volunteers
  • November 15: Initial Coach/Team Registration
    Science of Agriculture coaches must complete the registration form on the 4-H Science of Agriculture page on iGrow (below), where they identify the following: coaches name and contact info, counties represented on the team, the number of youth on the team. Each Science of Agriculture team will be required to pay $100 registration fee at check in for the state event. The fees covers the cost of food, lodging, workshop materials, and tours for all Science of Agriculture team members and a coach. Additional chaperones and coaches will be required to pay $50 fee.
  • March/April: Regional Events
    Regional events: Teams will be required to participate at one regional event. The events will serve as an exhibition where teams will give their presentation to a panel of judges and receive feedback that they will use to prepare for the state contest. Teams must participate at the regional event in order to progress to the state contest. The dates and locations of the regional events are to be determined.
  • April 15: State Event Registration Deadline
    Final registration for teams. Coaches must complete the team registration form on the Science of Agriculture webpage where they identify the following: coach’s name, name of each 4-H member and their age, counties represented no the team, the pillar of agricultural literacy that the team’s issue will fall within and the team’s agricultural issue. Teams will also submit a brief (1-2 paragraphs) description of their issue, the research that was conducted, and the team’s recommendations.
  • April: Community Presentations
    Teams give their presentations locally (at least 2 times) to agricultural groups, at club meetings, community forums, etc.
  • May: State Science of Agriculture Challenge Event
    The State Science of Agriculture Challenge event at South Dakota State University campus. Youth will give their presentation to panels of industry representatives while competing for scholarships. Youth will also attend workshops, go on campus tours, and participate in a College and Career Fair. At the conclusion of the event, there will be an awards luncheon where all youth will be recognized and scholarships will be awarded.


  • Science of Agriculture Quick Start Guide
    The Science of Agriculture Quick Start Guide includes challenge details, information for recruiting and starting a team, the judging rubric and promotional materials.

Online Registration

Register online using the form below by November 17.  

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For more information, contact Christine Wood, SDSU Extension 4-H Science Technology Engineering and Math ‘STEM’ Field Specialist.

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