The main industry in South Dakota is agriculture.  Agriculture creates more than $21 billion in economic activity and employs more than 122,000 people.  Because of these facts, the South Dakota Department of Agriculture's purpose is to promote, protect, preserve and improve the farming industry for today and tomorrow.  One way of promoting and preserving agriculture is to find a way that students can be involved.

South Dakota Ag in the Classroom (SDAC) and South Dakota Farm Families (SDFF) are teaming up to sponsor an essay contest for third and fourth grade students in South Dakota.

The theme for this year's essay is 'The Surprising Places I Found Agriculture' and any third or fourth grade student in South Dakota can enter.

Ann Price, executive director for South Dakota Ag in the Classroom (SDAC) is excited that students will be able to do some research and realize that they come in contact with agriculture many times, every day, even if they don't live on a farm.

The winning essay writing student will receive a pizza party for their classroom hosted by South Dakota Farm Families (SDFF), a certificate and a visit from a local ag. producer.

The essay contest is not limited to just one student per classroom.  Rebecca Christman from South Dakota Farm Families (SDFF) says,

Entire classrooms can submit a 100-250 word essay. The more students from a single classroom who enter, the greater the chances that room will be having pizza for lunch one day.

Entries should be turned in by March 28, and the winner will be announced on the South Dakota Ag in the Classroom (SDAC) and South Dakota Farm Families (SDFF) Facebook pages on April 15, 2014.

Teachers will be able to use this in their classroom as a learning activity, as it meets Common Core standards.

Entry forms can be found on the South Dakota Ag in the Classroom  website. Visit South Dakota Ag In the Classroom for details on the March 28 deadline and how to submit the essays.



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