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CountryMark and Indiana Prairie Farmer sponsor twin essay contests.

April 12, 2016

3 Min Read

Both you and your kids have a chance to speak out on agricultural topics. You not only get the satisfaction of expressing your thoughts, but you have a chance to win money or fuel.

Here are your two opportunities. Make sure you enter on time.

1. Write your own essay and enter adult essay contest

Your chance to visualize and propose the training and education you consider necessary for employees can be shared in the 2016 Indiana Prairie Farmer/CountryMark adult essay contest. “What new majors or curriculum should agriculture schools offer in the next 5 to 10 years?” is this year’s contest theme.


Some schools and universities are now striving to be very specific with plant pathology and research, precision technology, and animal welfare. Others are making studying abroad and shadowing noted professors a priority for worldview perspectives. With farmers expected to feed more with less ground in the future, you can share what is important to you.

The essay should be 250 to 300 words, and must be your own work. You must be at least 21 years old to enter. Entries should be typed and include a cover letter specifying your name, address, email address, and home and cell phone numbers. Winners will be notified by phone. CountryMark will give 500 gallons of Premium Dieselex-4 off road diesel fuel to the first place winner. Second place will receive 250 gallons, and third place will win 100 gallons. The fuel will personally be delivered to your farm.


A team of judges will select the winning essays. Results will be announced in early summer. Farm Progress Companies reserves the right to publish any essays deemed appropriate without compensation. Decisions of the judges are final. Send entries with specific contact information noted above postmarked by May 15 to: Susan Hayhurst, 14477 S. Carlisle Street, Terre Haute, IN 47802.

2. Encourage your son and/or daughter to write in the youth essay contest

Indiana’s agriculture commerce has exhibited great gains in the last several years. Increases in farmer markets and u-pick operations are enabling consumers to meet small operators face-to-face. Agritourism ventures, farm technology expos, and bio-security symposiums educate the public and producers alike. With so much available to consider in the world of agriculture, the 2016 Indiana Prairie Farmer/CountryMark youth essay contest theme is “How would you grow Indiana’s agriculture industry?”

Perhaps you have learned a key component of ag during an FFA project that has been overlooked. Or maybe a meaningful conversation you have had with your grandfather or father about the future of the family farm left an impression on you. Put your thoughts on paper with the goal of creating a winning essay.

Youth ages 8 to 20 are eligible to submit an essay. Essays must be 250 to 300 words, and must be your original work. They should be typed and include a cover letter with your name, address, email address, and home and cell phone numbers. If several individual entries are being included in one mailing envelope, please make sure each entry has its own cover letter with complete contact information. Winners will be notified by phone. Winners will be asked for a digital photograph to accompany their essay.

CountryMark generously presents youth winners with $250 for first place, $150 for second place and $50 for third and fourth places.

Youth contest entries are also due May 15. Send entries to Susan Hayhurst at the address in point 1.

- Hayhurst writes from Terre Haute

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