Teens gain teamwork, communication skills at Ohio Youth Capital Challenge

Ohio Farm Bureau Federation, Ohio FFA and Ohio 4-H joined forces March 17 for the Ohio Youth Capital Challenge. Nearly 40 students from across the state of Ohio gathered in Columbus to discuss agricultural issues and policy as the initial part of a four-step experience.

Team building, relationship building and mentorship are just a few benefits of participating in the first leg of the challenge. Students also met with state legislators to share ideas on public policy and how to better the community.

As the challenge progresses, students will meet in teams to address a specific public policy issue of their choosing. A preliminary contest takes place in the spring and winning team members will come together at the Ohio State Fair this summer to compete with their final presentation. Participants are in at least ninth grade and between the ages of 14 and 18 during the 2016/2017 school year.

Meredith Oglesby of Highland County said this is not her first experience with Ohio Youth Capital Challenge. “After being a participant for a year, I came back as a mentor,” she said. “I wanted to provide current participants with the opportunity to be successful.”

As a freshman at Ohio State University, Oglesby is majoring in agricultural communication with an interest in sustainable agriculture. She feels this experience has boosted her interest in her academic studies. “I saw this as an opportunity to gain teamwork and communication skills,” Oglesby said. “It pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me learn more about agriculture and public policy.”

Exceptional community citizenship is one of the values that makes FFA, 4-H and Farm Bureau successful organizations. For the rest of the challenge, participants: 

Phase 2: Independently work with teams and mentors on a local, community issue during the year. Teams will develop a presentation on their topic.

Phase 3: Preliminary competition May 15.

Phase 4: Finals during the Ohio State Fair.