Trips to apple orchards to pick honey crisps to bake a pie, flashlight nights in corn mazes, and seeing farm animals were some of the experiences district winners in Georgia Farm Bureau’s 2021 Middle School Essay Contest shared in their essays as they addressed the contest topic: How GFB Certified Farm Markets and agritourism benefit farmers and consumers.
“Georgia Farm Bureau’s Middle School Essay Contest is where research and creativity meet. We provide a topic, the students do the research, and then they help us tell the story of agriculture,” said GFB Women’s Leadership Committee Chairman Heather Cabe. “Tackling a writing prompt outside of assigned classroom curriculum is no small task. It makes me extremely excited to see students going the extra mile for agriculture!”
The annual contest, organized statewide by the GFB Women’s Leadership Committee for at least 45 years, encourages sixth through eighth-grade students to consider the importance of agriculture. The 45 county Farm Bureaus that held local contests submitted their top winners to GFB from which 10 district winners and a state winner were chosen.
Decatur County student Walker Elrod won the state prize of $150 and an additional $100 for being the GFB 9th District winner. Elrod was a seventh-grader at Grace Christian Academy when he wrote his essay earlier this year.
Other district contest winners were: Molly Hooker, Pickens County, GFB 1st Dist.; Jonathan Felipe, Habersham County, GFB 2nd Dist.; Aarsheya Gunjal, Cobb County, GFB 3rd Dist.; Cameron Rogers, Wilkes County, GFB 4th Dist.; Avery Beverly, Upson County, GFB 5th Dist.; Shyann Evans, Twiggs County, GFB 6th Dist.; Erin Shen, Bulloch County, GFB 7th Dist.; Molly Williford, Turner County, GFB 8th Dist.; and Serenity Pitts, Lanier County, GFB 10th Dist. Each of these students won a $100 prize.
The essay contest was open to all public, private and home-schooled 6th, 7th and 8th-grade students statewide. Students were encouraged to explore GFB’s Certified Farm Market and Farm Passport programs in writing their essays.
Essays were judged on clarity of thought and writing skill. Elrod’s essay is featured on the next page. Visit www.gfb.ag/21essays to read the essays of all the district winners.
Georgia Farm Bureau Ag in the Classroom Coordinator Lauren Goble may be reached at email@example.com or 478-474-0679, ext. 5135. Contact your county Farm Bureau if you’d like to volunteer with their Ag in the Classroom program.