Elementary, junior-high and high school students traveled from across Texas to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo™ Saturday, March 11, to compete in the Ag Robotics Challenge.
The Ag Robotics Challenge, hosted by the Judging Contest Committee, allows students who may not have an agricultural background to compete in an event that focuses on the technical and mechanical aspects of farming and ranching, using miniature robots to complete simulated farming tasks.
Twenty teams of 4-H and FFA students were given an hour and a half to measure the distances and angles of each challenge on the course, and program their robots accordingly.
Each challenge simulated a real world task, and ranged from moving bales of hay to transporting cattle to a neighboring pasture. The teams earned points when certain challenges were completed successfully.
Captain of the Judging Contest Committee, Marvin Coleman, explained that this is more than just a contest, it truly is the future of agriculture.
“This type of technology is really needed in agriculture,” Coleman said. “What I want them to take away is the fact that they can do it. They are our next generation, if they have the confidence to apply this, then agricultural production will be phenomenal.”
East Early College High School took first place in the senior division. Team member Omar Castro was excited to compete in the Ag Robotics Challenge at the Show.
“We didn’t really think we were going to make it this far,” Castro said. “We are really proud that we could make our coach happy. Scott Nichols, Judging Contest Committee Chairman, said the most important thing about the Ag Robotics Challenge is that it’s not traditional agriculture kids competing, it’s a contest where anyone can be involved.
The Ag Robotics Challenge is one of many contests and competitions available to Texas youth as part of the Houston Livestock Show™. Learn more about these competitions here.