WALWORTH — The next generation of agricultural-related researchers are at Big Foot High School.
Six current students and one 2013 graduate will present their research experiments at the national FFA competition in Louisville, Ky., in October.
Their projects range from egg shells to electrophoresis.
Citlaly Leon, a senior, and Brittany Rambatt, a Big Foot graduate, researched the efficiency and environmental impact of inhouse-made biodiesel, market biodisel and E85, a blend of biodiesel and regular fuel.
“We compared the calories used and carbon dioxide produced when using both types,” Rambatt said.
The students thought that biodiesel would be better for the environment. They found it less efficient than other fuels.
Faith Carpenter, a sophomore, studied the effects of rosemary and alfalfa on chicken growth rate.
Monica Health-Brost, a senior, studied economical electrophoresis.
Electrophoresis is the analysis of fingerprints at crime scenes.
Health-Brost said supplies needed for studying fingerprints is expensive for a classroom.
In her experiment, she studied the use of paper clips in place of more expensive metal supplies.
Katy Cavula, a junior, studied how bacteria entered eggs and the effect of washing eggs in different cleaning solutions.
Carlie O’Donnell, a junior, studied the effects of burying different verimculture on compost.
In different samples of composting material, O’Donnell added different food waste. In one sample, she added bananas.
She found that the added material doesn’t always produce the nutrients the material is known for in the compost.
MiKayla Grinnell tested the effects of light on meat storage.
She had samples of ground beef in refrigeration with different light types on each. Bacteria grew at different speeds under the various light sources.
Agriscience teacher Rick Henningfeld said these student projects all won at the state level.
“They were selected to advance to the national competition this fall,” Henningfeld said. “(This) means they are in (about) the top 10 in the nation.”
The Big Foot agriscience department was also recognized as an outstanding agricultural program by the Wisconsin Association of Agricultural Educators earlier this summer.