Seventh- to 12th-grade students are invited to submit an original, 450-word essay about the importance of ag. This year's theme is “American Agriculture: Abundant, Affordable, Amazing,” and the deadline is Feb. 12.

The theme of this year's Agriculture Council of America contest highlights ag's importance and how the industry continues to overcome new challenges. State winners (one per state) will receive $100, with the national winner receiving $1,000 and a trip to Washington, DC. Entry applications and official rules for the contest can be found at www.hpj.com/agdayessay.