What you'll do
Agronomy is the science of using plants for food, fuel, feed and fiber. Horticulture is about growing plants for food and decoration.
Minnesota 4-H offers a wide variety of opportunities to learn more about agronomy, horticulture, crop and plant sciences. To get started, enroll in one of the many project-related areas or try some of the offered agronomy-related opportunities.
Want to be notified of program updates? Sign up for the Minnesota 4-H agronomy and horticulture listserv at the button below to stay connected.
Levels of learning
In each level of learning, you will uncover more ways to deepen your experience in agronomy and horticulture. Bookmark or revisit this page for current information on agronomy, horticulture and plant science opportunities.
Get started with 4-H'ers in your area
- Form a group with other interested youth to learn together.
- Find a club near you or contact your local 4-H office for more info.
Get started on your own
Interested in learning more about agronomy, horticulture or plant science, but not sure where to start? Check out the list of topics and resources to get started! These resources can be used for self-guided learning or with other 4-H'ers to learn together.
Get started on your 4-H agronomy exhibits for 2023 fair
Bringing a sample for your exhibit? Plan ahead!
Projects that involve a sample product may need to be selected in the fall or spring - during the harvest. Don’t live on a farm? That’s ok! Crops must be grown on a farm with which you have a relationship with the producer and have interviewed them about the growing process.
Find a local farmer and learn more about agronomy!
Check out Agronomy Fair Exhibit Ideas as you work on preparing your exhibits for the 2023 fair.
As you continue to learn about the areas of agronomy and horticulture, try to deepen your learning and understanding. Attending a 4-H experience on a college campus or a tour of a private industry could give you an idea for your future.
In this activity, teams of youth in grades 6-12 compete on their ability to assess crops for outcomes and risks like weeds and pests.
Plant Science Project Bowl- Coming spring 2023
New in 2023! Plant Science Project Bowl is coming and is open to youth in grades 3 and up. For 2023, there will be one competition at the state bowl event on April 9.
Watch for upcoming virtual plant science trivia nights to practice and prepare for the Plant Science Project Bowl.
4-H Agronomy Days
Experience a college classroom! Explore a college and learn from a faculty member. There will be time in the day for tours and asking all your questions about classes and college majors. This is a great way for you to learn more about the study of agronomy and college life.
4-H Agronomy Tours
If you are interested in agronomy and horticulture, you could do them as a career. Attending a 4-H agronomy tour at an ethanol plant, large-scale dairy operation or seed plant will give you an idea of jobs for you in the future.
Join activities that will build your agronomy and leadership skills.
4-H Agriculture Ambassadors
This opportunity is for youth in grades 10 -12. The 4-H agriculture ambassadors are a voice for youth in agriculture and 4-H.
Youth serve Oct. 1 - Sept. 30; applications open August of the current year for the following 4-H year.
4-H project and career connection
Check out career opportunities in the agronomy, horticulture and plant science industry to learn how to connect your project learning to a future career.
- Agronomy professional applicator
- Agriculture lender
- Agriculture teacher
- Crop consultant
- Crop insurance adjuster
- Crop manager
- Extension educator, 4-H youth development
- Extension educator, crops
- Farmer or farm manager
- Field or lab researcher
- Golf course superintendent
- Plant breeder
- Sales agronomist
- Seed, fertilizer or chemical sales representative
- Seed production manager
- Soil conservationist
- Soil scientist
- Weed scientist
Fairs and exhibits
Make a presentation highlighting the technology used in agriculture, such as GPS tools, drones, etc.
Bring a two-quart jar or clear container of shelled corn, soybeans, wheat, oats, rye, barley, etc.
Provide a dried sample of alfalfa, warm-season grasses, cool-season grasses, sorghum, native grasses, silage, etc.
Take soil samples and compare soil analysis (Check with your local Extension office for testing kit availability).
Bring a sample of a specialty crop such as sugar beets, edible beans, black beans, kidney beans, field-produced sweet corn, peas, carrots, potatoes, popcorn, etc.
Create an educational display illustrating one of the following ideas: plant reproduction, plant growth factors, plant characteristics, usage of plants, plant growth and food production, examples of a plant disease, etc.
Make a display or book on identifying different weeds in agriculture or horticulture.
Bring cut flowers, flower bouquets or arrangements.
Make a terrarium or dish garden.
Provide a binder detailing a landscape design.
Find more exhibit ideas in Agronomy Exhibits: Bringing the field to the fair.
What a judge is looking for (evaluation sheets)
- Agronomy other areas
- Corn, legumes and other small grains
- Flower gardening
- Indoor gardening
- Lawn and landscape design
- Plant and soil science
- Vegetable gardening
Some counties require record keeping for fairs.
Reviewed in 2022