Every day Susan Hayhurst goes to her mailbox near Terre Haute, hoping to find a big enveloper of essays sent in by an FFA chapter hoping to earn money for the Indiana FFA, perhaps individual members, and maybe even diesel fuel for a mom or dad who supports the FFA chapter. Nearly every day, she's disappointed. That big stack of essays has yet to materialize in her mailbox.
"It's a great idea, and is a great moneymaker for our Indiana FFA Foundation," says Lisa Chaudion, executive director of the Indiana FFA Foundation. CountryMark, the sponsor and large fuel supplier, is providing $10 for each essay written to the Indiana FFA Foundation for every essay written about your FFA experiences, and what you've learned so far from essay. One essay per person, please.
"We're hoping teachers will see the value in it and still have classes write essays," she says. "It meets every educational specification." There's still time, but at the same time, time is running out. The deadline for entries is to be postmarked by April 16, 2012.
If you're 21 or younger, you're competing for a share of $500 in prize money. If you're over 21, you could earn up to 500 gallons in diesel fuel. Not bad for a couple hours' work. Mark the name of the chapter you support on the entry and the chapter will also get credit for the essay.
If two or more chapters send in 10 entries each, the top two chapters will earn a share of $500 from Farm Progress Companies to encourage participation in the contest.
So get writing, and when you're done, attach a cover letter with your name, address, phone number, cell phone and email. Also note which chapter you represent. Send your entry to: Susan Hayhurst, 14477S. Carlisle Street, Terre Haute, Ind. 47802.
Youth should write between 250 and 300 words, and adults should write from 250 to 350 words. Farm Progress reserves the right to publish any or all essays without compensation. Decision of the judges is final.
Susan will be waiting by her mailbox. And she hopes it fills up so much it bulges, and soon.