National 2010 Ag Day Essay Winner Named

KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 19, 2010 - The Agriculture Council of America (ACA) yesterday announced the 2010 National Ag Day Essay Contest winner, Christine Vanek.

ACA called upon seventh- to 12th-grade students nationwide to submit original essays of 450 words about the importance of agriculture in the U.S. Using this year's theme, "American Agriculture - Abundant, Affordable, Amazing," students were encouraged to focus their essays on the importance of agriculture and how the industry continues to overcome new challenges. These include keeping food affordable, meeting the demands of a growing population with fewer acres, working with legislative influences, and addressing consumer concerns.

Vanek, a 12th-grader at Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Mich., was named the national winner of the 2010 contest during the Ag Day event held at the USDA Whitten Building Patio. Vanek read her essay to industry representatives, members of Congress, federal agency representatives, media and others at the Celebration of Agriculture dinner in Washington, D.C. The following is an excerpt from her essay:

"At seventeen, I have come to admire the work my grandfather and all American farmers do. It is thanks to the abundance of American agriculture - from the corn, soybean, and wheat fields of the Great Plains to the expansive fruit orchards in the South - that I, along with the rest of the country, have access to a wide variety of affordable, safe, nutritious foods."

Vanek wrote the winning essay about the affordability, abundance and importance of agriculture in her life.

"The theme this year, American Agriculture-- Abundant, Affordable, Amazing, served as a great topic for students to write about the many ways agriculture truly benefits America," said Linda Tank, vice president for CHS Inc. "Vanek's essay expressed how agriculture has been an integral part of her life."

Ag Day is a nationally coordinated program that encourages consumers, young and old, to talk about agriculture. The contest is sponsored by CHS Inc., The Council for Agricultural Science & Technology, High Plains Journal, National Association of Farm Broadcasting, National Agri-Marketing Association and McCormick Company.

This is the 37th anniversary of National Ag Day. Each year, ACA strives to shine a spotlight on the agriculture, food and fiber industries. The first of each spring (National Ag Day), ACA helps consumers understand not only how food and fiber products are produced, but also brings people together to celebrate accomplishments in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.

For more information and to see a list of the 2010 state winners, visit www.agday.com.

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