Every year, GROWMARK provides an opportunity for students who want to follow their passion for agriculture. This year, GROWMARK recognized Megan Clark of Grand Mound, Iowa, as the national winner of the 2022 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members.
Each year the contest has a theme that the students must reflect on and apply to their own lives. The theme of this year’s contest was “What, in your opinion, has changed for the better in the agricultural industry as a result of the pandemic?”
In her essay, Clark said: “While other sectors in the country found themselves at a standstill, agriculturalists continued to thrive and emerged from the pandemic with new business opportunities and a stronger public image. Forever the optimist, farmers pushed back against adversity and found new ways to grow.”
Clark is a student at Central DeWitt High School and a member of the DeWitt Central FFA Chapter. Her FFA advisor is Amy Grantz. She will receive a $1,000 award from GROWMARK, and the DeWitt Central FFA will receive $750.
Four runners-up were also selected. They each receive $500, and their FFA chapters will receive $300. They are:
- Liz Elam, of Clovis, New Mexico. She is a member of the Texico FFA Chapter and a student at Texico High School. Her FFA advisor is Chris Flanagan.
- Kylie Oakland, of Elgin, Iowa. She is a member of the North Fayette Valley FFA Chapter and a student at North Fayette Valley High School. Her FFA advisor is Ryan Holthaus.
- Sidney Stiers, of Williamsfield, Illinois. She is a member of the Williamsfield FFA Chapter and a student at Williamsfield High School. Her FFA advisor is Kent Rigg.
- Makenna Stundebeck, of Salisbury, Missouri. She is a member of the Salisbury FFA Chapter and a student at Salisbury High School. Her FFA advisor is Breanne Brammer.
This is the 29th 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.