Today Show Essay Contest

Last week, I blogged about an opportunity for college students to beef up their advocacy skills and earn prizes for participating in the College Aggies Online scholarship program hosted by the Animal Agriculture Alliance.

READ: College students leading the charge as ag advocates

This week, I would like to share another opportunity, this one for high school students. It’s the 2018 Ag Day Essay Contest, sponsored by CHS Inc., Farm Progress and the National Association of Farm Broadcasting and hosted by the Agriculture Council of America (ACA).

This year’s official essay topic is, “How will agriculture feed the world?”

Students in grades 9-12 are encouraged to explore this theme and describe how agriculture impacts their daily lives and how this industry will feed a growing planet.

ACA gives these prompts as food for thought to inspire the students as they write their essays:

  • Global population is projected to reach 9 billion people by 2020
  • Increasing global consumer interest in how food is produced and processed
  • Popularity and growth of high protein diets featuring plant-based protein
  • Health and fitness driving consumer food buying habits
  • Influence of technology and biotechnology on food production, such as precision agriculture, drones and GMOs (genetically-modified organisms)
  • There’s a shortfall of students entering agriculture, versus the number of job openings. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 20,000 agriculture jobs are left unfilled annually.
  • Each American farmer feeds more than 144 people; a dramatic increase from 25 people in the 1960s.
  • Average age of today’s farmer is 58 years old, who will take over?

READ: 5 consumer sentiments about food

The deadline to enter is Jan. 31, 2018, and the rules can be viewed here.

Students have the option to submit essays in written or video format for this national competition. Two winners will be selected and will win $1,000. The winners will be announced to the public and media following the Taste of Ag Celebration on National Ag Day, March 20, 2018.

Please share this contest with any high school students you know. This is an excellent opportunity to explore an important topic and research possible solutions for sustainably raising a large amount of food in the future. I can’t wait to read the winning essays, and I encourage all 4-H, FFA and agricultural students to apply. Good luck!

The opinions of Amanda Radke are not necessarily those of or Farm Progress.

TAGS: Ranching


Media Contact: Valerie Linson
[email protected]

Facing History Launches 2017 Student Essay Contest: Making Choices in Today’s World

More than $25,000 in scholarships and prizes available 

BOSTON, Massachusetts (February 2, 2017) -- Beginning today, secondary school students and their teachers in the United States, Canada, and United Kingdom have the opportunity to win over $25,000 in scholarships and prizes through Facing History and Ourselves’ third annual Facing History Together Student Essay Contest, “Making Choices in Today’s World.” This year’s contest is inspired by the powerful quote from the late Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate. 

Teachers and students can access the contest website ( and start to plan. Essays will be accepted from March 1-15, and winners will be announced in at the beginning of May. Three $5,000 (£4,000​) grand prizes will be awarded to students, as well as seven $1,000 ((£800) awards. Teachers whose students are winners will receive prizes as well.

To help educators bring this prompt into their classroom, Facing History offers lesson plans from the newly revised digital edition of Holocaust and Human Behavior to explore key themes, examine historical examples, and make important connections as they begin thinking about who or what has influenced their own ethical decision-making process and consider how they want to participate in their community. 

The prizes for the 2017 Facing History Together Student Essay Contest are generously funded by Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Holocaust Remembrance Project. 

“With our decades of commitment, we are excited to embark on a new partnership that will help educate students about the Holocaust and the effect it has had on our society and our world. Sponsoring this essay contest for students will help to inspire a new generation filled with compassion, tolerance, and the courage to stand up for what's right,” said Ralph Lepore, Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation Chairman.

For over 20 years, the Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation's Holocaust Remembrance Project has encouraged the study of the Holocaust and how this watershed moment in human history relates to our world today. As part of this initiative, the Foundation is generously supporting Facing History's 2017 Student Essay Contest, which will encourage students to reflect upon the Holocaust as they examine the role of moral courage in today's society. In addition to the Foundation’s financial support of the essay contest and its student scholarships and teacher awards, individual employees of the law firm of Holland & Knight will serve as essay reviewers.

“Working with Facing History, we are going to engage our young people to examine and reflect on this horrific period in world history and its relevance to today, all with the hope that every day going forward they will be champions of tolerance and the oppressed,” said Elias Matsakis, Holland & Knight Charitable Foundation President.

Students must be residents of the United States, Canada (excluding Quebec), or United Kingdom and 13 years or older to submit an essay. Student submissions for the essay contest will be accepted from March 1 through March 15. After Facing History selects the top essays, the public will be invited to help select a winner by opening voting on April 12 until April 21. The contest winners will be announced at the beginning of May. Please visit the contest site ( for a breakdown of all the scholarships and prizes.

For more information about the contest, please contact Valerie Linson, Editorial Director, at [email protected]​ or 617-735-1698. 

About Facing History and Ourselves

Facing History and Ourselves was founded in 1976 by educators who believed that instilling intellectual vigor and curiosity goes hand-in-hand with teaching facts and figures. From the disturbing lessons of the Holocaust and other genocides to struggles for civil rights from Birmingham to South Africa, we trust students to wrestle with complex moments in human history, and work to help them understand the range of human behavior. These students learn to connect the dots between the ethical choices they’ll face in life and the positive outcomes they can create in their community and the world. Visit for more information.



Thursday, February 2, 2017 - 3:15pm

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