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Spotlight on Youth - Jan. 30, 2013
Deadline for Our Food, Our Farmers essay contest nears
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Students in grades 4-12 still have time to consider the impact of Indiana foods and farmers for the 3rd annual Ag Essay Contest titled “Our Food, Our Farmers: Nourishing Generations of Hoosiers” sponsored by Indiana’s Family of Farmers and Indiana Humanities. 

There will be first and second place winners from each grade level. First place winners will receive an Apple iPad and second place winners will receive a Beats by Dr. Dre Headphones.  All winners will be invited to attend a special recognition ceremony at the Indiana Statehouse on March 5, 2013 in celebration of National Ag Day. 
The essay competition includes three grade levels: 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12. The essays align with a number of state standards. A breakdown of the state core academic standards met by the essay contest is available on the Indiana’s Family of Farmers website. Entries must be received by Feb. 1, 2013. 

For the 2013 competition, we are asking the same question of all three grade levels: 

Describe how Indiana farmers 1) nourish our families, 2) our animals, and 3) our earth (soil). Please provide an example from each of the three areas.

Entry guidelines can be found at or

This contest is part of Indiana Humanities’ two-year Spirit of Competition initiative. Spirit of Competition will celebrate the role competition plays in our lives by examining core elements of competition such as civility, rivalry, innovation, passion and failure. 
Ft. Recovery FFA hosts Canning Hunger Campaign

Ft. Recovery, Ohio — The Ft. Recovery FFA Chapter recently held a canned food drive with the entire high school student body and staff called the “Canning Hunger Campaign.” During the contest, classes competed to see who could bring in the most cans. A total of 2,450 canned good and non-perishable items where collected. Mr. Evers’ class won the competition by collecting 50 cans per person. The food was delivered to local food banks to help needy families in the Mercer County area. The Ft. Recovery FFA Chapter would like to thank entire high school student body, the staff, and the sophomore FFA members for coordinating this great activity.

National FFA offers students opportunity to visit Brazil
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Collegiate FFA, a program of the National FFA Organization, is now accepting applications for its 2013 International Collegiate Agricultural Leadership (I-CAL) program.
FFA will take 12 college students pursuing degrees in the agricultural field to Brazil this spring, tentatively scheduled from May 19-June 1.

The trip will allow selected students the opportunity to study global agriculture and international marketing. Students will learn about current international trade and cultural issues and gain awareness of how international markets for agricultural products operate. Upon completion of the program, students will give educational presentations to local groups and organizations about their experiences.

The I-CAL program was developed as a partnership with the U.S. Grains Council and the Grains Foundation. Students do not have to have prior FFA experience to apply.

The deadline for I-CAL applications is 5 p.m. EST Jan. 30. Applicants can learn more about the program and download an application form at

Rural King partners with Red Brand to support FFA
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Rural King Supply representative Josh Gordon presented a check in the amount of $45,000 to the National FFA Foundation at the 2012 National FFA Convention and Expo. The proceeds are the result of Rural King’s participation in Home Grown, a funding partnership with Red Brand fence, manufactured by Keystone Steel & Wire in Peoria, Illinois.

“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with Red Brand and Home Grown in this funding initiative,” said Gordon, “and as a result, we are very proud to provide financial support to the National FFA Foundation and to offer a way for local chapters to receive funding. 

Foundation sponsors make possible award and recognition programs, scholarships, service learning activities, global engagement programs, national FFA convention functions, educational materials, teacher training and much more. 

According to Doug Wright, vice president of sales and marketing at Keystone Steel & Wire and current member of the FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board, “We’ve been supporting FFA since 1947 and FFA holds a special place in our hearts, as a lot of our employees–from people working on the manufacturing floor to the executive level–came up through FFA programs. Many of them still have children in FFA; it’s interwoven into the history of the company. We understand and appreciate the vital role that FFA plays in the lives of our country’s young people,” he continues, “and we are committed to helping to support their efforts. That’s why we created Home Grown. Today’s check is only part of the effect of Rural King’s Gold Level participation in the Home Grown program. Along with the generous financial support for the Foundation, Home Grown gives local retail stores the ability to impact their local FFA chapters. Home Grown is truly a grass-roots effort where the local community can support their local FFA chapter,” explained Wright. 

Home Grown was launched in 2010 and has raised funds for over 700 FFA chapters annually. The program applies to all new orders of Red Brand ag fence with $1 per roll donated to a designated FFA chapter in the retailer’s name. For details about the program, visit