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John Shea, 202-690-0437


WASHINGTON, Mar 30, 2006 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced the ten national winners of the ninth annual FFA Risk Management Strategies Writing Contest.

RMA sponsors the essay contest in cooperation with the FFA each year, as a means promoting awareness of ways of managing various risks associated with farming to the nation's future farmers.

"Understanding risk management principles is vital to the success of our next generation of farm producers," said RMA Administrator Eldon Gould. "This contest provides an opportunity for FFA members to demonstrate their comprehension of those principles."

The ten winners were chosen from 235 entrants, on the basis of content, adherence to the assigned topic, grammar, organization, originality and creativity. The contest challenges FFA members to apply the principles of risk management to their own personal enterprises in a 1000-word essay.

RMA has a long history of partnering with FFA. Administrator Gould recently hosted FFA Central Region National Vice President Anita Estes, a sophomore at the University of Nebraska. Estes shadowed Gould on March 21 as part of a yearlong program for national officers, participating in discussions regarding upcoming RMA programs and the need for reliable management of risk in commercial agricultural endeavors. "I am delighted to see such promising young people familiarizing themselves with risk management techniques and planning careers in agriculture," said Gould.

Risk management essay contest winners and their advisors will receive expense-paid trips to Washington, D.C., during May 3-7, 2006, where they will visit USDA, their members of Congress, and the Capitol.

This year's essay contest winners are:

  • Sierra Simpson, Timberlake FFA, Kremlin, OK
  • Angie Bushong, Hitchcock-Tulare FFA, Tulare, SD
  • Caleb Alexander, Garden City FFA, Garden City, KS
  • Emily Arkfeld, Lourdes Central Catholic FFA, Dunbar, NE
  • Troy Kimmel, New Raymer FFA, Stoneham, CO
  • Kate Wheeldon, Schuyler FFA, Schuyler, NE
  • Monty Brown, Canton FFA, Canton, OK
  • Jeffrey C. Bridges, Grapeland FFA, Grapeland, TX
  • Alexandria Henry, Alma FFA, Elwell, MI
  • James Lyons, Scott County FFA, Georgetown, KY