Crop Science Investigation Page

Crops for the Future-Youth
Youth Crop Science Investigation Program      


New Info!!!

Have a green thumb?  Interested in crops?  If you answered yes to any of those questions, join the CSI and/or Community Garden teams this year. CSI and Community Garden will work together on a couple of workshops. If you have a CSI notebook from last year, please bring it to the workshops. There is no charge for either program this year. Here's what you can learn about in CSI:
*Learn about the importance of agriculture and how crops are used.
*Conduct cool, hands-on science experiments.
*Listen to speakers and learn about careers.
*Help conduct field plot research.
*Become a CSI investigator and detect plant problems.
April 17th is the next date from 5:30 -7:00 PM at the Extension Office (tentative).
May 28th from 9-10 AM at the Fillmore Central High School ag room.



     As a large number of farmers approach retirement, it will be essential to replace those farmers with young, bright, and forward-thinking people. The best way to achieve this is by educating youth with the attractive features and future possibilities for agricultural producers. Parents, teachers and other adults should be encouraging youth to remain in the agricultural careers. Youth should be exposed to agricultural sciences at an early age to develop a knowledge base to build on topics such as crop production. Crop Science Investigation (CSI) workshop series held in Nebraska teach youth various agronomic principles. Since 2008, youth have participated in a comprehensive series of workshops throughout the year. Those who have attended learned not only the technical content related to cropping systems, but applied those concepts with hands-on activities or projects. Topics taught at each workshop include: crop end uses, agronomic-related careers, crop growth, pest management, irrigation management, cropping systems, tillage, etc. Each year, youth continue the CSI series learning about different topics and for previous participants, more in-depth information covered from the previous year's sessions. 
     Youth involved in a Crop Science Investigation program experience the influence of science and technology on crop management through hands-on activities. One participant reported using science and technology in 4-H to "read the watermark sensors, calculate how much irrigation is necessary, and help my dad decide when to water the fields." Another youth said that as a result of the CSI workshop series, he is now considering a major in agronomy.
ribboning soil
Educator & Youth Resources
       This is the beginning of a site to provide educational resources and activities for educators to access information to help them teach youth about crops. You might want to check it periodically as items will be updated on an on-going basis. If you have information or resources you'd like to offer, contact Brandy VanDeWalle at

Crop Lesson/Workshop Ideas

-Crop Basics/Uses of Crops Lesson

        Potted Soil Container Experiment (Can be used to compliment crop basics lesson or 
        used alone to teach students how to conduct a simple plant experiment)

Crop Trivia Power Point

-Planning to Plant Crops Lesson

        Resources used for Planting Lesson: 
Example Seed Label
        Factors to Consider Worksheet     
Residue Measurement

-Soybean Cyst Nematode Lesson

        Resources used for SCN Lesson: 
        SCN Power Point Presentation

        SCN Website with videos, etc.

-Agricultural Water Management/Irrigation Lesson

        Resources used for Irrigation Lesson: 
        Irrigation Power Point Presentation
        Irrigation Power Point Speaker Notes
        Nebraska Irrigation Fact Sheet
        ETgage NebGuide
        Watermark Sensor NebGuide
        Corn Water Use by Growth Stage
        Soybean Water Use by Growth Stage
        Watermark Sensor Irrigation Triggers

-On-Farm Research Lesson

        Resources for On-Farm Research:
        On-Farm Power Point Presentation
        On-Farm Research NebGuide
        On-Farm Research Website

-Harvesting Lesson

        Resources for Harvesting Lesson:
        Harvesting Powerpoint
        Harvesting Powerpoint Speaker Notes
        Estimating Corn Yields Sheet
        Student Worksheets
        Teacher Worksheet Key

-GPS & Precision Agriculture Lesson

        Resources for GPS Lesson:
GPS Powerpoint
         GPS Powerpoint Speaker Notes
         GPS Matching Worksheet
         GPS Matching Worksheet Answer Key
         GPS Collage Pictures
         GPS Receiver Instruction Handout
         GPS Extra Worksheet

-Introduction to Soils Lesson (Upper Elementary/Middle School Level)
        Resources for Soils Lessons: 
        USDA Natural Resource Conversation District Lesson
        NRCS Soils Website 
        Nebraska Extension Soils Management NebGuides

-Soil Properties Lesson (High School Level)
        Soil Fertility Website
        N Slide Ruler

References Used for Crops Lesson Ideas
     These lessons were adapted or taken from the Iowa State University Extension Crops Manuals which can be ordered from
Iowa State University.


If you have used these lessons with youth, please have youth complete this survey to help us determine the impact these resources are having on youth. Thanks!

If you would like these lessons in a different format, contact Brandy at

Crop Career Corner   

      There are many opportunities to work within not only the agricultural industry, but the crops area. In fact, some
college graduates have been able to receive several job offers because of their choice with an agronomy degree.    

Crop-Related Career Opportunities

     A wide variety of career paths is available in this rapidly-changing field. The breadth of your education will prepare you to pursue careers which are just now evolving or will evolve in the future.   With a degree in agronomy, careers are possible as an:

  • Agricultural Communicator
  • Crop Consultant
  • Crop Insurance Adjuster
  • Educator
  • Elevator or Co-op Manager
  • Farmer or Rancher
  • Farm Credit Banker
  • Farmer Manager
  • Field or Lab Researcher
  • Plant Breeder
  • Seed, Fertilizer, or Chemical Sales or Technical Representative
  • Soil or Water Conservationist 

For more information on degree programs in agronomy or other plant science related careers, the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Agronomy Department provides information and degree requirements. The College of Agriculture Sciences and Natural Resources offers 28 programs of study and two pre-professional programs in the agricultural area.

Agricultural Facts:

- Nearly 24,000 miles of rivers and streams add to Nebraska–™s bountiful natural resources.

 - Nebraska–™s farms and ranches utilize 45.6 million acres –“ 93% of the state–™s total land area.

Nebraska Resources

University of Nebraska Agronomy Dept.
Nebraska Corn Board Educational Resources

Nebraska Soybean Board

Nebraska Wheat Board Educational Resources

Nebraska Sorghum Board Resources 

Other Plant and Soil Science Resources

General Ag Lesson Plans

Corn Activities

Crops Resources (Judging Contest Information

Variety of Science-based lessons

USDA Agricultural Educational Resource Library