Noelle Gray of Jefferson, Iowa, has been named the Iowa state winner of the 2014 Growmark essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year's contest was "Promoting Sustainability and Conservation of Natural Resources."
In her contest entry, Gray said: "Successful farmers and cooperatives strive to be good stewards of the land by employing many practices including responsible tilling, use of filter strips, and close monitoring of fertilizer use. We need to work to preserve the resources we have now if we want to continue to be a profitable nation in the future."
Gray is a student at Greene County High School and a member of the Jefferson Scranton FFA chapter. Her FFA adviser is Cortney Schmidt.
Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference is April 27-29
As the contest winner, Gray will receive a $500 award from Growmark at the Iowa FFA State Leadership Conference, held in Ames during April. The Jefferson Scranton FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment to help future students.
Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Andrew McEvoy, North-Linn FFA, Central City, Iowa; Elizabeth Moore, North Mahaska FFA, What Cheer, Iowa; Tyler Willis, Linn-Mar FFA, Marion, Iowa; and Carson Wirtz, Hawkeye FFA, Whittemore, Iowa.
This is the 21st 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.
GROWMARK is a regional cooperative providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, risk management, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing, in more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. The FS brand represents knowledgeable, experienced professionals acting with integrity and dedication to serve more than 250,000 customers. More information is available at the GROWMARK websitehttp://www.growmark.com.