Cornmaze takes months of work and planning from U of I students

Cornmaze takes months of work and planning from U of I students »Play Video
The 11 acre maze.
LEWISTON, ID - The highly anticipated, third annual Clearwater Cornmaze is officially open as of six o'clock Friday night.

"It's awesome," said student volunteer Jessica Reynolds. "I love agriculture and watching crops grow. It really is just incredible to see the whole process from beginning to end."

Jessica Reynolds has lived on a farm for her entire life. So it's no surprise that she found a way to stay involved with agriculture at the University of Idaho, her home away from home. But that doesn't mean it's easy.

"August, September we were in the planning stages," said Reynolds. "Lots of meetings for me and then October I'm here almost every weekend."

Reynolds and nearly 200 other college students have been planning, organizing and working since early May on the third annual Clearwater Cornmaze.

"It is kind of crazy because I'm a full time student and I'm employed, " said Reynolds.

The design for the 11 acre maze was drafted in May with input by the students. Associate Dean Dr. John Foltz then finalized the design and local farmers Phil and Steve Kaufman started growing the corn.

"This year since it's the 100th anniversary of 4-H in the state of Idaho, we would use that as the basis for the design," said Foltz.

The students then worked to plot more than a thousand GPS points that they would follow to cut the 3.1 mile path of design in the maze.

"It was the last weekend in June they came and the maze was about knee high," said Reynolds. "And they actually, with GPS cut the maze with basically like a lawn mower and that's how all the paths were made."

"From an academic standpoint, we would call this experiential learning," said Foltz. "So this is like running a business. They've got to decide how to price their product. They have to decide how to promote it. They have to decide how to divvy up the jobs in running the corn maze."

Last year the college raised $60,000 with 12,000 participants throughout the month of October. Foltz said they expect more revenue this fall because they'll be open Sundays in addition to Fridays and Saturdays.

"Come to the Clearwater Cornmaze. Go Vandals!" said students.

Tickets for the cornmaze are $5 each, with proceeds benefiting the U of I College of Agriculture and Life Sciences student clubs. The college is working in partnership with the Lewiston Roundup Association and the Kaufman family to make the event possible.

For more information on hours and ticketing go to http://www.uidaho.edu/cals/cornmaze.