Kids from across the state are attending the Iowa Agricultural Youth Institute at Iowa State University in Ames this week. Iowa Agricultural Development Authority Executive Director Jeff Ward says this is the 24th annual institute. He says the institute is designed as primarily a leadership development institute and he says F-F-A and 4-H groups will send their best members who look to be the future leaders. Ward says it’s and intense study of agriculture issues. He says there’s three different ag issues they can choose to study, and there’ll be a speaker in to give a presentation on the topics. They’ll also go through a challenged course and team-building activities. Ward says the institute will wrap up with a debate on farm issues. He says this will give them a chance to get up in a group and state their own opinions about various issue. He says this year they’re going to have the debate in the state capitol. The face of agriculture has changed in Iowa, and Ward says they’ve adapted to those changes. He says the emphasis of the conference has change a little from the tradition agriculture. As an example, this year they’re going to take a trip to the Rieman Gardens and talk about horticulture, as in the past they’d take a trip to the research farms and look at test plots of corn and soybeans. Ward says 75 to 100 students are taking part in the institute that started Monday and runs through Thursday.
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