Marleigh Worden of Greenville, Mich., has been named the Michigan state winner of the 2021 Growmark essay contest for FFA members.
The theme of this year’s contest was, “If you could invent a new technology to improve agriculture, what would it be?” Students were encouraged to think creatively, not necessarily realistically, as they described their ideal invention.
In her contest entry, Worden said, “Because of the vast network of wind turbines, aerial spraying will no longer be an option. This is why autonomous drone technology will be needed to sustain large potato production. Using this technology, low-flying drones will be able to spray fields with pinpoint accuracy, allowing for less ground disturbance to the growing crops.”
Worden is a student at Link Learning High School and a member of the Montcalm Area Career Center FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Amanda Sturm.
As the contest winner, Worden will receive a $500 award from Growmark. The Montcalm Area Career Center FFA chapter also will receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.
Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are Jeanna Bischer, Ubly FFA chapter, Ruth; Kaitlyn Hansen, Montcalm Area Career Center FFA chapter, Sheridan; Kelsey Hubach, Careerline Tech AM FFA chapter, Hudsonville; and Julie-Ann Mulder, Montcalm Area Career Center FFA chapter, Stanton.
This is the 28th year for the program, sponsored by the Growmark System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about issues in agriculture and understand the unique role of cooperatives.