Qualifying for the challenge is the first daunting task for
participants. In order to be considered, they must apply for the
In the grant application they agree to choose a mentor who is not
a parent or family member. They also have to write and submit a plan
on how they will complete their challenge project, make a commitment
to spend a certain number of hours per month working on the project,
and use a minimum of two different methods to communicate their
findings with the public.
In addition, with their application they have to submit written
answers to eight questions:
Summarize your 4-H or small grain accomplishments.
Provide information on the breadth and scope of the 4-H
project that applies to the grant.
List your public presentation experience.
Provide information on experience with electronic
presentation tools (PowerPoint, Facebook, YouTube, etc.).
List any experience in designing educational and
presentation materials (brochures, etc.).
What current ideas do you have for this project grant
What are your education plans and career goals? In what
way do you see this grant helping you to achieve any of
What else should we know about
you when considering your grant application?
In August, at the Logan County Fair, Rawlings approached Lincoln
Daily News and talked about one of the requirements for his project:
sharing his findings with the public. Rawlings asked if LDN would
help in this area by publishing his article in one of our daily
LDN discussed the project with Rawlings and his mom, Tracey. We
immediately knew that we would want to feature the article in our
fall farm special edition, but were concerned about time limits for
the project. Rawlings and his mom assured us that waiting for this
special feature would be OK.
By putting it in the fall feature, it is easily printed on
regular letter-sized paper so Rawlings will be able to print the
article and include it in his final project submission.
Rawlings said he chose to do his project on genetically modified
organisms because, living in the New Holland area, he was in close
proximity to the Monsanto production plant in Mason City.
He took a tour of that plant and talked to people there about
genetic advances in the soybean industries. He also used several
Internet sources to supplement his research.
[to top of second column]
In August, he submitted his project at the Logan County Fair, and
it did very well. It was then submitted at the Illinois State Fair,
and it did well there also.
The next step for Rawlings was to submit what he had done thus
far to the challenge program. He did that right after the state
On Oct. 12 Rawlings stopped by the LDN offices to offer an update
on where he is on meeting the challenge.
The purpose of the challenge is to help young 4-H'ers learn how
to take a topic and dig deeper, learn more and achieve more with
Rawlings said his first submission to the Clover Challenge has
been through the review process and has come back to him with notes
on where he could and should dig deeper into his research.
Rawlings said he would be returning to the Monsanto plant. He had
plans to interview specific people and add the information from
those interviews to his research papers.
In regard to the article he'd written, he said it was sufficient
and is now ready for publication.
Rawlings is the son of Dave and Tracey Rawlings of New Holland.
He is a junior at Lincoln Community High School and is active in FFA
as well as 4-H.
His dad is the owner of Rawlings Trailer Sales, and mom works at
Cha-Dai Pet Motel.
Tracey has been actively involved in 4-H since her youth, and
Dave is responsible for spearheading the effort to raise funds for
Logan County 4-H premiums two years ago when the state cut its
funding to the programs.
In addition, Troy's grandfather is Lynn Miller, who at the 2011
Logan County Fair was recognized for his lifelong dedication to 4-H.
Lincoln Daily News is a strong supporter of 4-H. We believe that
the young people who participate in 4-H projects -- whether it be
art, cooking, crop production, livestock or any one of the dozens of
other courses of study offered -- learn more, do more and become
more successful in their adult careers.
Rawlings has until July of 2013 to submit the perfect research
project for the Clover Challenge.
LDN wishes him well and is proud to be a part of his work. The
story to follow is Troy's and, as required, has not been altered by
LDN. (See article.)
Be sure to check out all the articles
Outlook Fall 2012 magazine:
Yields: Complicated by aflatoxin
Hybrids saved us
Insurance claims in drought
Impact of drought on ag loans
Droughts: 1988 vs. 2012
Roundup: A view from all sides
How were the
farmers markets affected?
Introduction: Troy Rawlings