Local 4-H team wins state competition and $4,000 in scholarship

Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Kaydon Erpelding, Zach Erpelding and Levi Steinkamp accept their award for first prize from John Lawrence, Iowa State University Vice President for Extension and Outreach. The boys received $4,000 in college scholarships to be split between them when they attend postsecondary education.
/Photo submitted

A local 4-H team composed of Cherokee County 4-H member Zach Erpelding and Sac County 4-H members Kaydon Erpelding and Levi Steinkamp brought home first prize from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach’s first-ever AgOvation competition.

AgOvation is a research-based competition that challenges youth to explore and develop innovative science-based solutions to agricultural problems that they identify in their own communities. Youth in grades 7 through 12 work in teams of two to five members to develop a project and create a presentation to share their results, findings and/or created solution/product.

“AgOvation helps develop our future workforce of agricultural scientists, engineers and technologists,” said Steph Erpelding, Sac County Youth Coordinator with ISU Extension and Outreach. “Participants gain important life skills which empower them to become productive citizens, outstanding communicators, effective leaders and successful learners.”

The three-member team from Cherokee and Sac County used research, innovation and problem solving to develop Skid Shoes. Skid Shoes are designed to attach to the bucket of snow removal equipment. They prevent the bucket from digging into rocks or grass, which would otherwise cause property damage and increased labor.

The team presented their research and innovative new product at the state competition on Nov. 16, where they won first prize and received $4,000 in scholarship money to be split between the teammates. Special thank you to Denny Allan and Lundell Plastics for the partnership to build the prototypes.

AgOvation is sponsored statewide by Cargill and Channel.