For those of you that know me and have read my blogs throughout the years, then you probably know how deep my passion for agriculture runs, especially youth in agriculture.

I recently had the chance to attend Indiana’s National Ag Day Celebration which was held at the Statehouse in Indianapolis.

During, the celebration, Indiana’s Family of Farmers came together to showcase the different commodity groups that make up IFoF, as well as recognize the winners of their annual Indiana Ag Day Essay contest, which is open to any Hoosier students who are in grades 4 to 6.

In just 200 words or less, students were tasked with writing about the topic, Agriculture: Food for Life.

While, to some, 200 seems like a lot of words, if I were to get a restriction of 200 words, I would become riddled with anxiety and cold chills because that’s barely enough space for me to properly write an introduction to a story.

So, before the young winners of the contest were even announced, my hat already was off to them because being able to write an entire essay focused on agriculture and the food we consume is an extraordinary feat on its own.

Second-place honors in the essay contest went to a bright, young fourth-grader named Lucas Scholer, who is from Alexandria-Monroe Elementary School.

Scholer’s essay focused on his beef cattle operation and how he and his family raise safe beef for his community to consume.

Besides receiving $100, Scholer also had the opportunity to read his essay to all the agriculture representatives gathered at the Ag Day celebration.

The winner of the 2019 Indiana Ag Day Essay contest was Josie Butler, a fifth-grader from Tipton Elementary.

From the moment she stepped on stage to take the podium to read her essay about how even though she doesn’t live on a farm she still realizes how much agriculture is involved in the food she and her family consume daily, you could tell she was a little firecracker.

As she read her essay, she spoke with ease, as she told about the hours of research she did learning about programs such as Indiana Grown and how she and her parents could purchase locally grown products at the grocery store.

She delivered her essay with more confidence than I have seen from some tenured agricultural professors.

Josie and Lucas both have a bright future ahead of them — and, because of youth like them, so does the Indiana agriculture industry.

Ashley Langreck can be reached at 800-426-9438, ext. 192, or Follow her on Twitter at: @AgNews_Langreck.


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