The CSI: Crops program was again part of the 4-H State Conference, which is held at Iowa State University every year. This year it was held June 28-30.
The CSI: Crops program has definitely gained popularity among the youth participating in the "crops program" part of the conference. It was an overall success again this year. Last year approximately 17 students participated in the CSI: Crops program. This year about 40 students participated.
Staff from ISU involved in CSI: Crops in 2005 included professors and Extension agronomists Greg Tylka, Palle Pedersen, entomologists Rich Pope and Carol Pilcher, plant disease diagnosticians Christine Engelbrecht and Beatrize Spaulding, and ag education coordinator Brent Pringnitz, among others.
Similar to last year, students investigated the crop crime scenes in the field, and carried evidence bags with them to keep items that looked conspicuous. They investigated further inside the Field Extension Education Laboratory (FEEL) just west of Ames, and learned more about distinguishing crop diseases, insects, etc.
Pedersen and Pringnitz also demonstrated their "hail machine" for the students. This machine is pulled by a tractor and spews ice, replicating the damage crops incur from hail. Look for a story about CSI: Crops in the September issue of Wallaces Farmer magazine. The CSI: Crops tract of the 4-H State Conference was started in 2004 with
the help of corn and soybean checkoff dollar support.