It’s difficult to imagine what our lives would be without natural resources such as soil, water, trees or minerals. You may notice these natural resources while enjoying a hike in the woods, but did you know natural resources are used to provide us with food, clothing, homes, electricity and much more?

Farmers depend on soil and water to grow their crops. Trees provide paper and lumber for buildings. Georgia Farm Bureau is asking middle school students to describe the relationship between farmers and natural resources as the topic for its annual essay contest.

The Catoosa and Walker County Farm Bureaus encourage sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students to enter the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau Middle School Essay Contest. The contest is open to students attending public or private schools and homeschooled children. Students may enter in the county in which they live or attend school but not both.

The winner from each county Farm Bureau will receive $50.

“Georgia farmers grow the food we eat, cotton and wool to clothe us, and timber for our houses,” said Bernard Sims, Catoosa County Farm Bureau president. “As they grow their crops and livestock, farmers are also taking care of natural resources on their farm such as soil, water, trees, and air quality. The healthier their farms are, the better their crops and livestock will grow. By participating in the annual Farm Bureau Middle School Essay Contest, we hope students will learn how important natural resources, like water and healthy soil, are for farmers and how farmers conserve the natural resources on their farms.”

To enter the contest, students should contact their county Farm Bureau for an official entry form and contest rules and submit their essay to that office by Feb. 6, 2020.

All essay entries must be officially submitted by the local Farm Bureau to the Georgia Farm Bureau home office.

The winner from each county will be entered in the Georgia Farm Bureau lst District competition. The district winner will receive a cash prize of $100. The 10 GFB district winners will compete for the state prize of $150 cash. Previous state winners are not eligible.

Essays will be judged on how well the essay topic is addressed, adherence to standard English grammar rules, and use of primary and secondary sources for research pertaining to essay topic referenced in the essay.

Teachers can access lesson plans for sixth- through eighth-grade students that accompany this essay question at www.gfb.ag/20EClessonplan. To view a hands-on STEM activity that complements the lesson plan visit www.gfb.ag/20ECproject.

This contest is sponsored by Georgia Farm Bureau and coordinated by the Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee.

Art contest

Are you a high school student who likes to create art or do you know one who does? Then check out the 2020 Georgia Farm Bureau High School Art Contest. The state winner will receive $250, two state runners-up will receive $150 each, and 10 district winners will each receive $100.

The contest is open to all public, private and homeschool students in ninth through 12th grades. Finished artwork must be on 8.5 x 11-inch white paper and should be created in the colors black, white and gray. Contestants may use a variety of media to create their artwork including graphite, charcoal, pastel, chalk, colored pencil, pen-and-ink, ballpoint pen or mixed media appropriate for printing. Only one entry per person. Multiple entries will be disqualified. Previous state winners are not eligible.

Catoosa and Walker County Farm Bureaus encourage students to enter the Art Contest. The winner from each county will receive $50.

“The purpose of the Farm Bureau Art Contest,” said Mike Bunn, Walker County Farm Bureau president, “is to encourage students to creatively explore Georgia agriculture and increase their knowledge of the contributions it makes to our lives. Georgia farmers produce a wide variety of crops and livestock including poultry, beef cattle, dairy, cotton, peanuts, timber, pecans, blueberries and many other fruits and vegetables.”

Between the crops Georgia farmers grow and the jobs agriculture creates to harvest, process and transport these crops, agriculture contributed $73.7 billion to Georgia’s economy in 2017, according to the UGA College of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences.

Drawings will be judged on 1) how well the artwork represents modern agriculture found in the student’s county or Georgia and 2) artistic merit.

To enter the contest, students should contact their county Farm Bureau for an official entry form and contest rules and submit their artwork to that office by February 6, 2020.

The winner from each county will be entered in the Georgia Farm Bureau 1st District competition. The district winner will receive a cash prize of $100. The 10 GFB district winners will compete for the state prize of $250 cash. Two runners-up will each receive $150 cash. All artwork entries must be officially submitted by the local Farm Bureau to the Georgia Farm Bureau home office.

Students must be willing to allow Georgia Farm Bureau to reprint copies of their drawings. The winning artwork becomes the property of Georgia Farm Bureau and will be printed in a calendar distributed by Georgia Farm Bureau to promote agriculture. The Georgia Farm Bureau Women’s Leadership Committee coordinates the contest.

For more information, contact the Catoosa County Farm Bureau office at 706-937-2000 or the Walker County Farm Bureau at 706-638-3237.

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