If you're 8 to 18, or wish you were 8 to 18 and have a child or grandchild who is, you or they can still enter the Indiana Prairie Farmer and CountryMark 'Pet of the Year' contest. Entries must be postmarked by Feb. 15.
There are lots of pets on farms, and you can take your pick of which one you nominate. Maybe it's a calf, horse, baby lamb or a more traditional pet, like the farm dog. Just write about why your pet is special, and let us hear from you.
We're only asking for 250 to 350 words. You can describe favorite antics of your pet, how it came to be your pet, or how it got its' name. In fact, anything about your pet that you think makes your story interesting is fair game.
CountryMark provides cash awards for the contest because they believe in agriculture and ag youth, notes Belinda Puetz, communications director for the Indiana-based petroleum company. They also enjoy customer feedback and interaction.
Send your original work to: Susan Hayhurst, 14477 S. Carlisle Street, Terre Haute, IN 47802. Include your name, address with town, phone number and email address in a cover letter. Parents, feel free to help with the cover letter. We want to be able to contact the winners.
Also include a high-resolution photo of your pet. Judges will be selected by the sponsors, and will have experience in agriculture.
Farm Progress Companies reserves the right to publish any essay without compensation. There is no guarantee that any particular essay will be published in Indiana Prairie Farmer or on www.indianaprairiefarmer.com.
Here's the best part. You can earn cash while you earn recognition for your pet at the same time. Cash prizes include $250 for first place, $150 for second, and $50 each for third and fourth place. Decision of the judges will be final.
There's still plenty of time to type out an award-winning entry. Maybe a little time with your pet will be good inspiration. Here's hoping you take time to enter. May each person do their very best.