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Schorfheide Wins 2016 GROWMARK Illinois

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Essay Contest

Austin Schorfheide of Hoyleton, has been named the Illinois state winner of the 2016 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “What can young people do to ensure the sustainability of agriculture?”

In his contest entry, Schorfheide said: “Sustainability in agriculture ultimately comes down to maintaining and preserving our resources to allow our children to use the same assets that have been passed on to us. To do so we as young agriculturalists must conserve our resources, produce even more food than currently possible, and inform the public about agriculture.”

Schorfheide is a student at Nashville Community High School and a member of the Nashville FFA chapter. His FFA advisor is Julie Bond-Ledford.

As the contest winner, Schorfheide will receive a $500 award from GROWMARK at the Illinois FFA State Convention, held in Springfield during June. The Nashville FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of his accomplishment to help future students.

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 award. The runners-up and their FFA chapters are, in alphabetical order: Allison Bollmeier, Marissa FFA, Marissa, Illinois; Justin Huff, Mt. Vernon FFA, Dix, Illinois; Serena Schaefer, Princeville FFA, Princeville, Illinois; and Abbey Turner, Maroa-Forsyth FFA, Forsyth, Illinois.

This is the 23rd year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

GROWMARK is an agricultural cooperative with annual sales of $8.8 billion (FY 2015 data) providing agronomy, energy, facility planning, and logistics products and services, as well as grain marketing and risk management services in more than 40 states and Ontario, Canada. GROWMARK owns the FS trademark, which is used by affiliated member cooperatives. More information is available at