Texas FFA News  
Stephenville FFA Member Utilizes Hydroponics to Study Solutions to Feed a Growing Population    
Friday, June 16, 2023 | Author: Texas FFA News

Charleigh Feuerbacher’s agriculture research involving hydroponically grown plants cultivates a foundation for her long-term Supervised Agricultural Experience.

“My first project focused on the nutrient additive of different sugar types across the plant groups of sweet potato, cilantro, and tomato,” said Feuerbacher. “I conducted this research project to find the most efficient sugar additive in hydroponically grown plants.”

The Stephenville FFA member explains that this project greatly impacts agriculture as it could be a viable solution to the growing urban sprawl and food insecurity in urban areas.

“My second project focused on growing hydroponically grown plants as well, with the nutrient additive of ascorbic acids present in hydroponics systems with the goal of having crops grown with higher vitamin C content,” said Feuerbacher. “Finding a solution to produce crops which are abundant in vitamin C can be very beneficial to increasing overall health in America.”

This study could heavily impact the future of agriculture as a productive solution that can feed poverty-stricken Americans and offer an additional nutrient source.

“When conducting my research, I used the empirical method to form a thorough literature review, test hypotheses, organize variables, collect data and perform a statistical analysis,” said Feuerbacher. “My ambition for this research is to advance the way we produce diversely and hydroponically grown produce.”

The Stephenville FFA member collaborated with Dr. Cummings of Tarleton State University, who offered knowledge of hydroponics and advice throughout the entire project.

“I went to a hydroponics camp at Tarleton State University to further my knowledge,” said Feuerbacher. “By gaining a broad background knowledge in the field I became much more confident in my SAE.”

She believes the skill set she has gained through her project will be an impactful advantage in her future profession.

Feuerbacher's successful SAE project was recognized as the Star Chapter in Agriscience at the 2022 Texas FFA State Convention.

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