Students representing Clay, Greenbrier, Harrison and Upshur counties were named finalists in the second annual West Virginia Agriculture Technology & Innovation Student Competition. The students placed first in each of six categories and will received $100 prizes.

They will compete Dec. 13 for the grand prize at the West Virginia Agriculture Innovation Showcase in Huntington. The overall winner will receive $500 and the assistance of a business coach in developing an idea into a commercially-viable venture.

The category winners are:

Trenton Brady and Sage Bloom, Clay County High School – Plant Systems

Garrett Davis and Ben Hinkle, South Harrison High School – Animal Systems

Caleb Hamner and Spencer Vaught, Buckhannon-Upshur High School – Environmental and Natural Resources

Lauren Quick, Greenbrier East High School – Power, Structural and Technical

Jaydin Cogar, Clay County High School – Food Products & Processing

Tiersa Helvey, Kiah Hill, Zach Ellis and Grace Sealey, Greenbrier East High School – Agribusiness Systems

“The response to this year’s competition was tremendous,” said Bill Woodrum, coordinator of Agricultural Innovations and director of entrepreneurship at the Robert C. Byrd Institute (RCBI). “We had a record-setting 132 student entries from across the state focused on some truly innovation solutions to improving agriculture in West Virginia.”

Winners were announced Nov. 14 during the West Virginia Agriculture Innovation Showcase in Moorefield. The fourth-annual event and the student competition are sponsored by RCBI, Eastern West Virginia Community & Technical College, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture and the West Virginia Department of Education.

State Agriculture Commissioner Kent Leonhardt will present all of the awards during the Huntington Showcase, which is being hosted Dec. 13 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Marshall University’s Huntington campus in the Memorial Student Center. The showcase, which encourages innovation, technology integration and problem-solving, is free and open to the public. Register at