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Youth and Young FarmersEssay Contest

Essay Contest

Ross Tompkins of Smithboro, Illinois, Anna Campbell of Hamlin, Iowa, Chloe Momphard of Troy, Missouri, and Audrey Pelikan of Jefferson, Wisconsin, have been named state winners of the 2018 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year's contest was "How can cooperatives demonstrate their value to the next generation of agriculturists?"​ 2018 is the 25th year for the essay contest sponsored by GROWMARK and participating FS member cooperatives. The contest is for active high-school FFA members in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, and Missouri.

Contest Goals:
The contest is intended to encourage students to develop writing skills, learn about current issues impacting agriculture and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

This Year's Topic:
The average age of farmers in the United States is 55 years old, meaning many current farmers are nearing retirement age. Cooperatives have played a vital role in agriculture for many years, offering products, services, and expertise to help farmers increase efficiency and profitability, while keeping up with a rapidly changing industry. As a younger generation steps up to fill their shoes, they will need a wide variety of resources and technology to be successful. What does the next generation of agriculturists need from a cooperative partner, and how can cooperatives work with young farmers to remain relevant?

Click the links below to read each of the four winning essays.

Illinois - Ross Thompkins of Smithboro​
Iowa - Anna Campbell of Hamlin​
Missouri - Chloe Momphard​ of Troy​
Wisconsin - Audrey Pelikan of Jefferson​

For a complete list of each state's runners up, please see our 2018 GROWMARK Essay Contest press release.

State winner: $500 award
FFA chapter of the state winner: $300 award
Four runners-up per state: $125 award each​

Questions? Call 309-557-6184 or e-mail Karen Jones​.​