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Serving: IA

'Skyscraper' farming wins essay contest

Tyler Harris cornfield
WINNING ESSAY: Sydney Benscoter's winning essay addressed the lack of land available for food production, and proposed vertical greenhouse production systems as a possible solution.
Growmark essay winner for Iowa suggests “building up” to meet food demand.

Sydney Benscoter of Marengo has won 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, Benscoter said: "There is far less land available for growing food, and that in combination with the growing population is a recipe for disaster. I believe that the solution to this problem can be found in the very cities that caused it: skyscrapers. When we ran out of space to build houses, we built up! Why not do the same with farming?"

Benscoter is a student at Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School and a member of the Marengo FFA chapter. Her FFA advisor is Marcia Kilgard.

As the contest winner, Benscoter will receive a $500 award from Growmark. The Marengo FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment.

Four Iowa runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are:

  • Cade Haughenbury, North Linn chapter, Coggon
  • Zach Ihde, North Fayette Valley chapter, West Union
  • Mattie Nielsen, Audubon chapter, Hamlin
  • Tessa Tauke, Beckman Catholic chapter, Earlville

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 current issues in agriculture and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

Read Benscoter's winning essay here.

Source: Growmark, which is responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and its subsidiaries aren't responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
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