For three dynamic days last month, local 4-H members -- Anika and Austin Nicolas of Pleasanton, Cara Rubin of Danville, and Liliana Wheeler of Livermore -- participated in workshops focused on precision agriculture, food and health, animal science, wildlife biology, biobased products and bioenergy.
They were attending the National 4-H Youth Summit on Agri-Science held in Washington, D.C., to address the increasing challenges in the industry.
With support from industry leaders, youths had the opportunity not only to build skills and knowledge, but also to explore careers in the agri-science industry.
"I attended a variety of workshops focusing on food waste and food loss," Anika Nicolas said. "What upset me the most was a startling statistic: Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger."
"I learned that North America has 5% of the population yet 25% of the world's food, and I learned that we currently produce enough food to feed the world, yet because of food waste and loss, so many people struggle to eat a meal," she continued.
The four were on a team tagged Zero Waste, which focused on reducing single-use plastic items -- straws, utensils and coffee cups -- from going to the landfill.
"With the skills we learned at the summit, we plan to educate our community about this issue," Anika Nicolas said.