2021 Ag Day Essay Contest Winners

Congratulations to the 2021 National Ag Day Essay Contest Winners. The winning entries can be viewed below. This contest is divided into two categories of competition: written essay and video essay. View the press release here

Written Essay Contest

The national written essay winner for 2020 is Jaxon Rauber from High Point, NC.  He will receive a $1,000 prize and recognition during the virtual Ag Day event on March 23, 2021.

The contest also names two merit winners who received $100 and will have their essays featured in the Ag Day Blog.  They are:

Codi LaBorde

Milliken, CO

Aubrey Surage

Monument, CO

Read the winning essay:

American Agriculture: Food Brings Everyone to the Table

Jaxon Rauber

High Point, NC

 

"My great-grandfather was an Ag teacher in western New York.  By the time I arrived, he had long since retired. His hands were strong, and seemed permanently stained with the earth.  When I was young, he would put us to work picking strawberries and green beans from the garden, or cracking piles of walnuts.  He would walk us out back to feed the cows and goats in the neighbor’s pasture.  Sometimes he would teach us about the trees, advising us how to tell the difference between white oak and black oak.  Friends stopped by to visit and often came baring gifts from their own crops.  My great-grandmother worked magic in a small farmhouse kitchen as she prepared a mouth-watering spread with all that we had gathered.   I feel fortunate to have had these early experiences.  We all know food brings everyone to the table, but agriculture makes it all happen.

Agriculture has evolved significantly over time, from its simplistic beginnings, which allowed people to begin settling in communities, to modern practices of vertical farming and the use of robotics and drones.  According to recent studies, precision agriculture allows farmers more accurate techniques for planting and growing crops, which in turn increases efficiency and cost management. (Ku).  This focus on advancing farming practices is essential, as our population continues to increase.  By the year 2050, farmers will have to produce 70% more food to feed our growing population. (Shearing).  The role of technology in agriculture is now more important than ever to meet the demands of the future. 

Whereas the advancements in agricultural practices have allowed for more efficient food production, a growing focus on healthy, clean eating has increased the demand for food. In addition to grocery store purchases, many people and restaurants are buying more produce at local farmers markets.  According to the USDA, the number of registered farmers markets nearly doubled in a decade, reaching almost 8,700 in 2016 and leveled off just shy of 8,800 in 2019.  (Maixner). Healthy eating habits are dependent upon the ability to access a wide variety of nutritious food, solidifying that agriculture is essential to our health and well-being. 

While the world of agriculture is in a state of exciting technological advances that strive to meet the needs of our growing population, it is important that we not forget the vital roots of its existence.  Agriculture not only brings food to the table, it brings family and friends.  It builds tradition and reminds us of the importance of simplicity in life and the significance of those who share it."

Video Essay Contest

The national video essay winner for 2021 is Keerthi Nalabotu from Pleasanton, California.  She will win a $1,000 prize for her video.

Watch the winning video essay now: