Following in Dad’s footsteps in agriculture has been fruitful for Tori Streitmatter of Sparland, Illinois, the grand prizewinner of the 2017 Thrive #RootedinAg contest from Syngenta. The contest challenged growers and other ag industry professionals across the country to describe the person who most nourished their agricultural roots. Streitmatter, who currently works in human resources and recruiting for agricultural supply cooperative GROWMARK, Inc., chose her father, Dave.
“My father is who I credit for fueling my fire for agriculture,” she wrote in her winning essay. “He was my biggest motivator throughout my 4-H and FFA days. He taught me how to work hard without expecting anything in return, live simply, stay humble, respect everyone’s ideas, give back to my community, problem solve, stand up for what I believe in, and ALWAYS hold my farm family close to my heart.”
In addition to the mini touch-screen tablet that she, along with four other deserving finalists, received earlier in the competition, Streitmatter has won a $500 gift card. Syngenta also will make a $1,000 donation in her name to the Midland FFA Alumni to help students who are pursuing ag degrees in her local area attend regional and national conferences.
“Students often ask me ‘How do I get where you are?’ And I tell them getting involved is key,” said Streitmatter, who spends many weekends on her family’s farm in Sparland. “A lot of that came from my dad. He was very involved in the ag community himself, and I wanted to be like him in that way, too.”
Streitmatter is the latest winner in the annual Syngenta Thrive contest. Thrive is the company’s news magazine and website created specifically for U.S. growers and agribusiness professionals.
“We’re proud to honor Tori and are thankful to everyone who took the time to share stories about the people who instilled in them a love of agriculture,” said Wendell Calhoun, communications manager at Syngenta. “We understand that passion and credit it for our drive to develop innovative, practical solutions for today’s – and tomorrow’s – growers.”
2017 marks the fourth consecutive year Syngenta has sponsored an essay contest for its Thrive readers.