Attention high schoolers: essays on agriculture wanted


CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation is launching its third annual statewide essay contest about agriculture.

All interested Oregon high school students are invited to participate and entrants will compete on the basis of how persuasively their writing communicates the importance of agriculture in our daily lives.

The Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom program is a non-profit organization headquartered at Oregon State University. The group’s 2007 essay contest is sponsored by the Capital Press, Oregon Farm Bureau, Agri-Business Council of Oregon and Dairy Farmers of Oregon.

For the list of essay topics and contest rules visit the program’s website at http://AITC.oregonstate.edu. Mail entries, postmarked by March 1, to: Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation; Oregon State University; 105 Ballard Extension Hall; Corvallis, OR 97331.

"The goals of this statewide writing contest are to create a positive learning experience by encouraging students to read more, be creative, and expand their vocabularies; and to further general understanding of agriculture in our lives," said program director Tami Kerr.

According to Kerr, the contest was designed to be easily incorporated into CIM/CAM requirements and will give maximum recognition to all students and their teachers who take part. Participation certificates will be awarded to all students who submit essays.

Judges will select the top three entries in four divisions (grades 9, 10, 11 and 12), Kerr explained.

Students with winning essays will receive cash awards ranging from $50 to $100 as well as Dairy Farmers of Oregon “Got Milk”sweatshirts, and winning essays will be published in the Capital Press newspaper.

Teachers of the student winners will receive plaques to display in their schools.

"Food and fiber, produced by today’s farmers, are essential to everyday life,” Kerr noted. “It is important that the public understand the industry and how relevant it is to their lives. More than 15 percent of the U.S. population is employed in farm or farm-related jobs."