Special Agronomy Project

The Special Agronomy Project gives 4-H members the opportunity to experience a crop that is grown, was grown, or has the potential to be grown in Nebraska. The project allows 4-H members interested in agronomy to grow something fun, new, and different.

2023 project

Tepary Beans

The 2023 Special Agronomy Project is focused on the Tepary Beans. Tepary Beans are among the most drought-tolerant legume crops in the world, but at one time, they were almost an endangered species in the United States. Tepary beans (pronounced tep-uh-ree) are an ancient crop native to the northern part of Mexico and the southwestern part of the U.S. Beans can be multiple sizes and colors, like pinto or black beans, but they offer drought tolerance other legumes don’t (Texas A&M). Wild tepary beans are viny and can grow 10-feet long but cultivated varieties are bush-types up to 12 inches in height and 20 inches in diameter. Leaves are trifoliate with narrow, pointed leaflets. Flowers are white or light colored. Fruit are small pods, 1.25 to 3 inches long, containing 2 to 7 seeds.

2023 Project Newsletter

2023 Online Evaluation Form 2023 Printable Evaluation Form


NRCS Plant Database Texas A&M

Getting Started


Enroll for the "PS: Agronomy (D) - Special Agronomy Project" through 4-H Online.

Order Seeds

Contact your local Nebraska Extension Office by February 15 and let them know how many seed packets you need. If you do not contact your local Extension Office, seeds might not be available for you.

Pick Up Seeds

Pick seeds up from your local county Extension office when they are available, typically around April or May.

Plant, Grow & Harvest

Use the resources provided to plant, grow, and harvest your crop.

Exhibit at the fair optional

Educational Exhibit class G750011

Educational exhibit based on what was learned from the project. Present information on a poster 14” X 22” either vertical or horizontal arrangement or in a clear plastic report cover. The 4-H member’s name, age, full address, and county must be on the back of the poster or report cover. Refer to Scoresheet SF259 Each display must have a one-page essay (minimum) explaining why the exhibitor chose the area of display and what they learned from their project. Include any references used.

Video Presentation class G750012

4-H exhibitor designs a multimedia presentation related to the crop. This could include narration of the growing process, presenting facts about the crop or any other innovative multimedia practices. The presentation should be at least 2 minutes in length and no more than 5 minutes in length, appropriate graphics, sound and either a video clip, animation or voice over and/or original video clip. Any of the following file formats will be accepted: mp4, .mov, .ppt, or .avi.

Freshly Harvested Crop class G750013

Plant exhibits must be the result of the current year's project. Depending on the type of crop selected for the current year:

  • Corn - 10 ears or 3 stalks (cut at ground level with no roots or soil and bound together)
  • Grain Sorghum - 4 stalks (cut at ground level and bound together)
  • Soybeans - 6 stalks (cut at ground level and bound together)
  • Small grains (oats, barley, wheat, triticale) - sheaf of heads 2 inches in diameter at top tie with stems about 24" long.
  • Other crops (alfalfa, millet, etc.) - sheaf of stems 3 inches in diameter at top tied with stems cut at ground level.

Supporting documentation (½ to 1-page in length) should include the following:

  • Economic Analysis and/or research that supports feasibility of this crop in Nebraska or how the crop has evolved over time.
  • Other topics to discuss are past/current commercial production of this crop. This includes: the selection of variety or hybrid, impacts of tillage and conservation practices, inputs (fuel, fertilizer, irrigation, labor, pesticides, etc.), any observations made during the growing season about this crop and what you learned from your crops project. This ½ to 1-page summary counts as 50% of the total when judged.
  • In addition to the summary, grain and plant exhibits will be judged on condition, appearance (i.e. disease and insect damage, grain fill), uniformity (size, shape, color, maturity), and quality of exhibit.

Complete Evaluation

Complete the evaluation no matter what happened! If every single plant lived, insects ate them off, or even if they all died, fill out the evaluation near the end of the growing season (around State Fair time).

For questions, please contact: