Last week, I blogged about an opportunity for college students to beef up their advocacy skills and earn prizes for participating in the College Aggies Online scholarship program hosted by the Animal Agriculture Alliance.
This week, I would like to share another opportunity, this one for high school students. It’s the 2018 Ag Day Essay Contest, sponsored by CHS Inc., Farm Progress and the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and hosted by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA).
This year’s official essay topic is, “How will agriculture feed the world?”
Students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to explore this theme and describe how agriculture impacts their daily lives and how this industry will feed a growing planet.
ACA gives these prompts as food for thought to inspire the students as they write their essays:
- Global population is projected to reach 9 billion people by 2020
- Increasing global consumer interest in how food is produced and processed
- Popularity and growth of high protein diets featuring plant-based protein
- Health and fitness driving consumer food buying habits
- Influence of technology and biotechnology on food production, such as precision agriculture, drones and GMOs (genetically-modified organisms)
- There’s a shortfall of students entering agriculture, versus the number of job openings. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 20,000 agriculture jobs are left unfilled annually.
- Each American farmer feeds more than 144 people; a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s.
- Average age of today’s farmer is 58 years old, who will take over?
The deadline to enter is Jan. 31, 2018, and the rules can be viewed here.
Students have the option to submit essays in written or video format for this national competition. Two winners will be selected and will win $1,000. The winners will be announced to the public and media following the Taste of Ag Celebration on National Ag Day, March 20, 2018.
Please share this contest with any high school students you know. This is an excellent opportunity to explore an important topic and research possible solutions for sustainably raising a large amount of food in the future. I can’t wait to read the winning essays, and I encourage all 4-H, FFA and agricultural students to apply. Good luck!
The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of beefmagazine.com or Farm Progress.