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2023 Ag Day Essay Contest Rules & Guidelines

Official Topic:

Growing a Climate for Tomorrow - How American agriculture does it every day


Sponsored by:

CHS Inc., Farm Progress, Successful Farming & the National Association of Farm Broadcasting

Written Entry Forms:

PDF Format

Word Format



Students across the country are invited to enter the National Ag Day essay and video contest, sponsored by the Agriculture Council of America. This year’s theme is, “Growing a Climate for Tomorrow- How American agriculture does it every day.”  National Ag Day’s objective is to celebrate agriculture and to help consumers better understand how farmers and the companies serving them produce abundant, healthy, nutritious, and safe food while caring and tending for the land; leading the way in preservation and innovation for the health of our planet....and our families.


We encourage all entrants to support their position with facts.  Don't just tell a story.  As you prepare your entry, consider the following:

  •         Research the food value chain

  •         Consider the role of technology in agriculture and how it contributes to a healthy planet.

  •         Increasing global consumer interest in how food is produced and processed

  •         Health and fitness driving consumer food buying habits

  •         Farmers are proud stewards of our land, water and air every day. 

  •         U.S. farmers are among the most productive in the world. They proudly raise crops and livestock because they want to help              feed hungry people. 


Section I - General Rules

  1. The 2023 Ag Day Essay Contest is divided into two categories of competition: written essay and video essay. Both are national competitions.

  2. Contestants must compose an original written essay and/or video essay with limited guidance from adults, teachers or agricultural industry professionals. Interviews with industry professionals are acceptable research; input beyond research is unacceptable.'

  3. Agriculture Council of America (ACA) will have the right to publish or otherwise duplicate any essay entered in the contest, along with the author’s name, without payment to the author.

  4. All entries must be received at the Agriculture Council of America office by midnight CST, February 13, 2023.


Section II – Qualifications for Contestants

  1. The contest is open to students in grades 9 through 12 in the 2022-23 school year. Contestants must be a U.S. citizen and attending school in the U.S.  Contestants must meet all requirements to compete.

  2. Contestants are eligible for only one written essay entry during any given year.

  3. Contestants are eligible for only one video essay entry during any given year.

Section III – Written Essay Contest Rules

  1. Each entry must begin with a title page containing: official topic, "Growing a Climate for Tomorrow: How American Agriculture Does it every day,” number of words, writer’s name, e-mail address, address, phone number, date of birth, school name and grade.  Failure to provide a cover page with all contact information will result in the entry being disqualified.  

  2. Essays must be typed, double-spaced.

  3. Essays must contain 450 words or less. Every word of the essay is counted. This does not include the bibliography, footnotes identifying non-original material or title and author information.

  4. Each page of the essay must be numbered, starting with the first page of the essay, not the title page. The numbers must be centered at the bottom of each page.

  5. Any quotation or copyrighted materials used in the essay must be properly identified using a bibliography and footnotes or proper citation. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.

  6. No reference can be made in the essay that will identify the contestant beyond the listing of the name on the title page. The author is allowed to reference a state’s name within the essay.

  7. Essay must be written in English.

  8. The entry must be stapled together in the upper left-hand corner with the title page on top. Covers of any type are not accepted beyond the title page information described in Section III, No. 1 above.

  9. All essays must be accompanied by an entry form. If e-mailed, it must be in Word or PDF format. Please send by either mail or e-mail – not both. Entry forms and essays must be received by midnight CST, February 13, 2023, and sent to 2023 Ag Day Essay Contest, Agriculture Council of America, 8700 State Line Road, Suite 105, Leawood, KS  66206,

  10. The ACA cannot confirm receipt entries sent via email or mail.

  11. The decision of the contest Chair is final and no higher appeals will be recognized.

  12. Failure to adhere to the rules may result in disqualification at the discretion of the Sponsor.


Section IV – Video Essay Contest Rules

  1. Video must address the official topic.

  2. The file format of all uploaded videos must be .MP4 or .WMV. The maximum length of the video is TWO (2) minutes.

  3. Each entry must be in English.

  4. To submit the video essay, visit FILE TRANSFER and follow the directions as guided on the page

  5. All video essays must be accompanied by an entry form. All essays must be accompanied by an entry form in Word or PDF format. Entries must be received no later than midnight CST, February 13, 2023.

  6. Entries must not, in the sole and unfettered judgment of the Sponsor, contain any sexually explicit, disparaging, libelous or other inappropriate content, language or nudity.

  7. Entries must not contain any act that is considered dangerous, in the sole and unfettered judgment of the Sponsor.

  8. Entries must not violate any copyrights or trademarks, including music used in the video. Applicant must have consent and credit the music or it must be the applicant’s original music.

  9. Failure to adhere to the rules may result in disqualification at the discretion of the Sponsor.


Section V – Judging and Timing

  1. Judging will be completed by a panel of qualified judges made up of representatives from the sponsoring organizations and experts from the ag industry.

  2. In an effort to conceal the identity of each contestant, each entry will be assigned a number by the essay contest Chair. The assigned number will be placed on the title page and first page of the essay before the title page is removed.

  3. Judges will not discuss or compare essays being judged.

  4. Only judges can assign a penalty or award a point.

Section VI – Scoring of Written Essay Contest

  1. Material Organization (logical interpretation of the subject, adherence to topic): 40 points

  2. Vocabulary and Style (phrasing and continuity): 25 points

  3. Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling: 25 points

  4. Neatness: 10 points


Section VII – Scoring of the Video Essay Contest

  1. Logical Interpretation of Subject, Adherence to Topic: 25 points

  2. Originality: 25 points

  3. Innovation and Creativity: 25 points

  4. Visual Esthetics: 25 points


Section VIII – Awards

  1. National Video Essay Winner – $1,000

  2. National Written Essay Winner – $1,000 and the opportunity to read their winning essay virtually.  The panel may also award up to 2 merit winners who will receive $100 each and have their essays published on the Ag Day Blog.

  3. Winning entries will be featured on the Ag Day Blog and Web Site.

First-place winner of the written essay and first-place winner of the video essay will be contacted in February via email. Both winners will be announced to the public and media prior to National Ag Day. Non-winning entries will not be notified. To check if your entry won, check the website For more information, contact, RE: 2023 Ag Day Essay Contest.

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