Agriculture Innovation at Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College recently hosted the 6th annual Agriculture Innovation Showcase in conjunction with the West Virginia Agriculture Technology and Innovation Student Challenge held at Eastern’s campus in Moorefield, West Virginia.
The event was held in partnership with the Robert C. Byrd Institute, West Virginia Department of Agriculture (WVDA) and the West Virginia Department of Education.
The Ag Showcase and student challenge was sponsored by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, as well as the WVDA. Students competed to win cash prizes, gift cards and an iPad.
The competition gave students a chance to showcase innovative, original proposals to advance agriculture. This year, the competition had 20 participating teams from four different local schools.
The judges for the competition included Evan Nelson, manager of agriculture innovations and quality specialist from RCBI, Bill Woodrum, coordinator of the West Virginia entrepreneurship network and West Virginia BusinessLink, and Nathan Bergdoll, WVDA Eastern panhandle planning coordinator.
Eight prizes were awarded to the winners of the Ag Innovation Student Challenge. The first place winner received an iPad ($800 value), $500 and a $200 Tractor Supply gift card; People’s Choice Challenge received an iPad ($800 value), $300 and a $200 Tractor Supply Gift Card; second place received $200; third-place received $150; fourth place received $100; fifth place received $75; sixth place received $75; and the Panel Select School award winner received $500.
First Place Champion
Alexis Irvin, Phillip Barbour High School
Alexis Irvin created a Bluetooth Creep Feeder to ease the hassle of feeding cattle. Her invention allowed a producer to use a Bluetooth function via cellphone to control a Creep Feeder to prevent the farmer from being swarmed by cattle during feeding. Irvin had the idea while working on her own farm where she had trouble feeding due to the cattle being over eager to eat and nearly running her over.
Second Place and First Place People’s Choice Champion
Kennedy Fisher and Xavier Keller, Barboursville Middle School
The duo’s innovative product was a Powerful Plant Protection. Fisher and Keller’s invention will help by detecting and warding off pesky garden nuisances. Their design included a motion activated camera, strobe lights, and aluminum sheets to make noise to deter nuisances from entering.
Cody Mitchell, Petersburg High School
Cody Mitchell invented an Agriculture Social Media Platform and app to allow people to stay informed of new events that are happening in agriculture. Mitchell’s app allows the user to filter agriculture events on a global, national, state or local level.
4thPlace: Alexander Williams, Digital Watering System
5th Place: Jessica Findley and Alexander Williams, Hydraulic Beehive Lift
6th Place: Shannondeli Snyder, Social Media Resource App
7th Place: James P. Smith, Bamboo Garden Pole
Gene Hovatter, Phillip Barbour High School
Gene Hovatter, a teacher at Phillip Barbour High School, received the panel selected School Prize for his outstanding work encouraging his students to enter into the Agriculture Innovation Challenge.