Three Iowa FFA chapters were recently awarded cash prizes in the Pioneer brand A-Series Soybeans Big A Challenge. The winning chapters were recognized, and the “Big A” statues they designed were displayed at the 2019 Farm Progress Show at Decatur, Ill. A panel of judges selected the statues designed by the Iowa FFA chapters of Mount Ayr, North Tama and Wayne.
An Illinois FFA Chapter from Clay City won the People’s Choice Award. This award went to the statue design that received the most online votes during a period that ran through Aug. 30. The People’s Choice winner received Pioneer branded items for its FFA members.
The top three chapters were chosen from 15 finalists, all from Iowa and Illinois. The top three Big A Challenge winning chapters, all from Iowa, included:
- first place, Mount Ayr FFA of Mount Ayr, $2,500
- second place, North Tama FFA at Traer, $1,500
- third place, Wayne FFA of Corydon, $1,000
The other 12 FFA chapters among the 15 finalists were from Illinois — Stewardson-Strasburg, Mulberry Grove, Farmington, Maroa Forsyth and Massac County — and from Iowa — Atlantic, East Marshall, Marcus MMCRU, Newell-Fonda, Sibley-Ocheyedan and Wilton.
Focus on next generation
Pioneer and FFA teamed up for the Big A Challenge, a contest that highlighted the next generation of soybeans and the next generation of farmers. FFA chapters wrote essays and submitted designs to earn the opportunity to decorate one of the Big A statues.
The 15 finalists demonstrated their creative talents by each decorating a 7-foot-tall Big A statue showcasing the outstanding performance of A-Series soybeans while celebrating their local communities.
“Just as A-Series soybeans are bred using localized research and testing to fit many growing environments, the FFA chapters used their Big A statues to illustrate what makes their local communities unique,” says John Schartman, Pioneer brand soybeans marketing lead for Corteva Agriscience. “FFA is one of the premier youth organizations, helping prepare its members for leadership and careers in science, business and technology in agriculture, and this contest gives FFA members a chance to flex their creative muscles.”
The Big A Challenge began in 2018 at the Farm Progress Show at Boone, Iowa. The judges scored each chapter’s statue according to theme, creative essay, design, and embodiment of the spirit of Pioneer and the FFA chapter’s local community.
For more information about Pioneer brand seed products and Corteva Agriscience, visit pioneer.com.