Thursday, August 4, 2016

Three FFA Chapters Win Money for Convention Trips to Indianapolis

Culver’s Announces Winners of the Second Annual FFA Essay Contest

PRAIRIE DU SAC, Wis.—Aug. 4, 2016—The world’s population is predicted to grow to 9.3 billion by 2050, up from 6.9 billion in 2010. To address the challenge of producing enough food to feed an increasing population, Culver’s Second Annual FFA Essay Contest prompted FFA members to discuss how they see technology impacting the agricultural industry and their ag careers, for a chance to win money to fund their chapters’ trips to the 2016 National FFA Convention & Expo in Indianapolis, Oct.19–22.
As the first-place winner, Sierra W.’s Riverton Parke FFA chapter in Indiana will receive $7,500. Wyatt N. from the Parma FFA chapter in Idaho and Hannah S. from the Seven Lakes FFA chapter in Texas will each receive $2,500 to support their chapters’ trips to Indianapolis.
“These essays are a great way for us to hear from FFA members on important agricultural topics,” said David Stidham, vice president of marketing at Culver’s, who shared that Culver’s received nearly 600 entries. “We’re continually blown away by FFA members’ passion for agriculture.”
Here are some excerpts from the winning essays:
Sierra: “Through biotechnology, we are growing more disease-resistant crops and raising healthier livestock with lower feed-to-meat ratios. We are thus producing more resources in more economical ways, and creating more dependable sources of food.”
Wyatt: “My great grandpa told me the story of him working the fields with teams of horses, planting the seeds by hand and harvesting with horses as well… When he retired, he was selling state-of-the-art combines, tractors and planters. He was the first farmer in our community to put in wheel lines; neighbors thought he was crazy. He was the first to put in a pivot, and again he was crazy. In those sixty years, technology took agricultural production to extraordinary levels.”
Hannah: “Computer programmers are needed to code the unmanned aerial vehicles patrolling the wheat fields, geneticists are vital to creating more nutritious crops and economists can help prevent surpluses and shortages by assisting farmers in producing the right amount of product for the market.”
Sierra plans to become a veterinarian, and sees technology having a significant impact on her career because it will create more efficient ways of diagnosing ailments in animals. Wyatt hopes to have a career in animal science and ag business management, and believes technology is only limited by our imagination. Hannah is interested in a career in botany because it will allow her to work on a genetic level to maximize the nutritional value of plants.
This essay contest is part of Culver’s Thank You Farmers program, which recognizes how vital agriculture is to Culver’s success. To learn more, visit

Last call for $20,000 child ag safety grants!

Proposals will be accepted until August 17 for mini-grants up to $20,000 to support small-scale projects and pilot studies that address prevention of childhood agricultural disease and injury. The National Children’s Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety plans to award three grants.

Since 2002, 52 projects have been funded though the National Children’s Center. This year’s funding priorities will be given to projects that:

Identify and/or address emerging trends in agriculture that may pose risks to children, such as drones, robotics, community-based agriculture, urban agriculture and agritourism.
Address issues pertaining to barriers, motivators and interventions for keeping young children out of the farm worksite.
Address vulnerable populations, such as immigrant workers’ children, Anabaptists, African Americans and Native Americans.

For information on eligibility, how to improve your chances of being funded, submitting a proposal and other frequently asked questions, go to Or contact Marsha Salzwedel, M.S.,; 715-389-5226 or 1-800-662-6900 option 8.