Students score big in Farm Bureau’s Cattle Ranch Challenge


The future of agriculture is in the classroom and many organizations are committing resources to improve agricultural education. The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has announced the winning teams in its fall Purple Plow Challenge, Cattle Ranch Riddle.

Each team won a 3-D printer and a $100 gift card for classroom use. The following teams were selected as the winners in this national competition:

  • Meadow Groves Farms, Charles R Drew Middle School in Lincoln, Alabama. Educator — Hannah McBurnett.
  • White River Valley FFA, White River Valley High School in Switz City, Indiana. Educator — Sam Zuckschwerdt.
  • Girls STEM Team, Brooks County Middle School in Quitman, Georgia. Educator — Christine Hiers.
  • Circle G Ranch, Rosalia School District in Rosalia, Washington state. Educator — Jodi Heitstuman.

The fall Purple Plow Challenge contest, Cattle Ranch Riddle, ran Aug. 15 to Nov. 1. Every day, cattle ranching families strive to raise a healthy and safe product, while at the same time, maintaining a profitable business and being stewards of natural resources. For this contest, students constructed a model of a cattle ranch that addresses production as well as environmental, economic, and societal needs.

Purple Plow is a free STEM-education platform that engages students in creating solutions for real-world, complex issues related to agriculture for middle school and high school educators. Students research scenarios related to food, hunger, and sustainability and build their own prototypes to solve problems. The free resources – provided for facilitators, students and volunteers – are written by teachers, aligned to national learning standards and reviewed by industry experts. The next contest will open Jan. 1.

Purple Plow is a special project of the American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture. The resources are made possible through the generous support of the title sponsor, Corteva Agriscience Agriculture Division of DowDuPont.

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