March 1, 2021 | By: Carol Lea Spence

LEXINGTON, Ky., — The annual 4-H/FFA Field Day at the University of Kentucky may look a little different this year, but organizers are excited about the many opportunities it will provide middle and high school students to meet, learn and compete.

Because of the pandemic, the usual in-person event where thousands of students from Kentucky and surrounding states gather on the UK campus, will go online instead. But never fear, assured organizer Stacy Vincent, associate professor of agriculture education in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment. This virtual event will be every bit as exciting and challenging as past in-person events.

“What we’re hearing from extension agents, teachers and students is they need something to look forward to,” he said. “I feel like that our call as a land-grant institution is to provide services to the folks in the commonwealth. In this particular setting, it just happens to be youth involved in agriculture, and I’m excited about that.”

Though at first glance, a virtual field day might be difficult to pull off, Vincent and his team have designed an event where students will compete in livestock and meats judging, ATV safety, forestry, a STEM challenge, agronomy, a citizenship bowl, nursery evaluation and equine, among many others. Normally held on one day, this year’s event will stretch from April 12-20, with three or four online competitions a day.

Interested students can register for specific competitions until April 1. After registering, they will receive information and links to access their competition on the appropriate day.

“This is a great chance to see what opportunities the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment offers its students,” said Ashley Osborne, 4-H youth development specialist who is one of the organizers. “We’re adding some new contests that align specifically with 4-H programming, so I encourage students to check out what we’re offering during this year’s field day.”

Osborne noted that as an FFA member in high school, she participated in livestock activities and ended up majoring in agriculture because of that experience.

“If a young person has a particular interest in something like livestock or forestry, this might be an opportunity to learn more about that particular area and participate in a fun contest,” she said.

Registration information and a complete list of competitions are available at https://www.ca.uky.edu/ukfieldday.

Contact: 

Stacy Vincent, stacy.vincent@uky.edu; Ashley Osborne, ashley.osborne@uky.edu

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