The 4-H-FFA Wheat Plot Variety Contest is challenging, yet appealing, in that it offers future food producers the opportunity and the structure to literally plant seeds for their career, said Deryl Waldren, K-State Research and Extension area 4-H specialist.

The project provides samples of five different varieties of wheat seed, and requires young producers to track the crops from planting to harvest, and to prepare a report for each of the crop varieties, said Waldren, who is the advisor for the year-long project.

Thirty–seven youth producers participated in the project this year, and 18 will present their wheat variety displays in the 4-H Showcase Building during the 2011 Kansas State Fair, Sept. 9-18 in Hutchinson. The building is located at the north end of the fairgrounds, across from the Bison Arena.

The young growers will be on hand Saturday, Sept. 10 at 11:30 a.m. for the awards ceremony.  Throughout the fair, the public is encouraged to view the wheat displays and information.  

Successful producers will be rewarded for their efforts, said Waldren, who acknowledged several donors. The 4-H-FFA Wheat Plot Variety Champion will be given $250, provided by the Kansas Wheat Commission; Reserve Champion will win $150, donated by the Kansas Crop Improvement Association, and third through fifth place cash awards will be given, courtesy of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association. KGFA also provides an award plaque for each of the top five award recipients.

“Living on a farm is not a prerequisite for choosing the project,” said Waldren, who noted that several 4-H members “adopted a producer” by working with a neighbor or relative who collaborated with the 4-H member to provide the equipment and land. This is an excellent way to help youth appreciate the value of the project experience, and to encourage future food producers.

More information about educational 4-H programs is available at K-State Research and Extension offices throughout the state and online: www.Kansas4H.org .