FFA Members Encouraged to Enter Contest

2007 essay contest theme announced: biofuels.

Published on: Dec 14, 2006

What is the local cooperative's role in creating energy independence through biofuels? How is the farm economy revitalized by renewable fuel development? The theme for the 2007 Essay Contest is "Energy Independence for America: The Local Cooperatives' Role." The contest is for all in-school FFA members in Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.

This is the 14th year for the program, sponsored by the Growmark System and FS -member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people improve their writing skills and learn about current issues of agriculture. This year, students will offer educated opinions on the importance of renewable fuels like ethanol-blended fuels, biodiesel, and E-diesel.

Essays should be approximately 500 words, typed and double-spaced. The entry deadline for Iowa FFA students is February 9. Deadline for Illinois and Wisconsin FFA students is for entries to be postmarked by March 9. Additional program details have been sent to agriculture teachers and are online at www.growmark.com (click on "About US/Youth and Young Farmers.")

Iowa entry deadline is February 9

"This contest is a great opportunity for students to improve their communication and research techniques, and receive recognition in return," says Jane Castellano, Growmark communications specialist.

"Agriculture is changing so quickly that 10 years from now the industry may look vastly different. Through the essay contest, students have the opportunity to look into the future and imagine what the possibilities might be."

The state winner earns a $500 scholarship, and the FFA Chapter of the winner nets a $300 award. Four runners-up win $125 scholarships. The program has grown each year and many ag teachers use it as part of their curriculum. Past topics have included the seed industry, biotechnology and the future of farming.

Growmark is a regional cooperative providing agriculture-related products and services and grain marketing in the Midwest. FS brand farm supplies and related services are also marketed to farmers in the northeast United States and Ontario, Canada through local Growmark member cooperatives and subsidiaries. More information is available at www.growmark.com.