Ag Citing! Exciting Youth about Agriculture

Ag-Citing:  An Experience at the Clay County Fair

Vision & Mission

Our vision is to promote the importance of agriculture and natural resources among young people while developing their understanding, appreciation, and application of science through a variety of hands-on activities.

Our mission is to provide experiential learning opportunities to educate and excite students about agriculture and its importance to individuals, communities, and our state.


The majority of northwest Iowa young people are one or more generations removed from the farm.  In 1900, 40 percent of Americans lived on farms.  That figure has dropped to less than 1%  today.

Because it is no longer feasible to arrange for every student to visit a farm, Ag-Citing provides a great way for the next generation to learn from the agri-business industry about the importance of agriculture in Iowa.


Since its pilot in 1995, Ag-Citing has served youth from all 15 school districts within a 35-mile radius of Spencer.  The program has been delivered to over 10,000 students, 1,600 adult chaperones, and 64 classroom teachers.  Third and fourth grade students from 45 different classrooms are invited to participate in pre- and post-activities in their classrooms, as well as outdoor experiences at the Clay County Fair.  They study about the history of our natural resources, including our soils and native prairie plants, as well as commodities in Iowa today. 

Program Structure

The Ag-Citing Experience has been designed and lead by a team of Iowa State University (ISU) Extension professionals with backgrounds in youth development, education, agriculture & natural resources, and consumer marketing.  These specialists have utilized research-based curriculum and data to create classroom lessons for use by teachers before and after their outdoor experience at the Clay County Fair. Additional experiential hands-on activities are prepared and facilitated by ISU Extension staff to engage students, teachers, and volunteers throughout the 261-acre outdoor classroom experience at the fair.

Monsanto Presenting Donation to Ag-Citing

2008 Ag-Citing Photo Album

2007 Ag-Citing Photo Albums

2006 Ag-Citing Photo Album


Attention Instructors! Check out the Teacher's Corral  for fun and exciting lesson plans, kits, supplemental materials, reference links, and much more!

For more information about Ag-Citing, contact Karen Byers, Iowa State University Extension Youth Development Specialist, 712-262-2264, 110 W. 4th Street, Suite 100, Spencer, IA  51301

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