OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- The Agriculture Council of America is calling on seventh- to 12th-grade students to submit an original essay of 450 words about the importance of agriculture. This year's theme is "Agriculture - Every Day in Every Way," and the deadline is Feb. 9. Teachers are asked to encourage their students to participate.



This year, the theme highlights the importance of agriculture in everyone's lives. From the clothes you wear to the food you eat, agriculture is a part of every day for everyone. Though row crops and livestock are still very much a part of the foundation of the industry, agriculture today has multiple touch points in our daily lives and offers many career opportunities.



"CHS is pleased to help support this year's Ag Day essay contest and its theme of 'Agriculture, Every Day in Every Way,'" says Linda Tank, vice president of communications for CHS Inc. "We recognize the valuable contributions today's youth offer to help our nation's food, fiber and energy systems stay strong. We look forward to seeing the students' opinions and ideas about agriculture and the role it plays in our lives."



This year's national winner will receive a $1,000 prize and round-trip ticket to Washington, D.C., to be recognized during the March 12 Celebration of Ag Dinner held at the Whitten Patio. At the dinner, the winner will have the opportunity to join with industry representatives, members of Congress, federal agency representatives, media and other friends in a celebration of agriculture. Statewide winners of the contest also will be selected. Each state winner will receive a $100 prize.



This is the 36th anniversary of National Ag Day. The goal of the ACA is to provide a spotlight on agriculture and the food and fiber industry the first of each spring (National Ag Day), to help consumers understand not only how food and fiber products are produced, but to celebrate accomplishments in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.



The Ag Day Essay Contest is sponsored by CHS Inc., The Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, High Plains Journal, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, National Agri-Marketing Association, Country Living Association and McCormick Company.



All entries should be sent to: Ag Day Essay Contest, Agriculture Council of America, 11020 King Street, Suite 205, Overland Park, KS 66210, or submitted by e-mail to essay@agday.org. Entry applications and official rules for the contest can be found at www.hpj.com/agdayessay.



SOURCE: Agriculture Council of America.