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John Shea, 202-690-0437


WASHINGTON, Mar 30, 2007 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Risk Management Agency (RMA) today announced ten national winners of the tenth 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 managing risk in farming operations. "This contest challenges FFA members to apply strategies demonstrating risk management principles," said RMA Administrator Eldon Gould. "RMA is proud of its long history of partnering with FFA and for the opportunity to showcase the talents and abilities of these students."

The students submit a personal essay on the topic of risk management strategies used in a supervised agricultural experience. Students are expected to analyze the risks, describe their risk management strategy and indicate which 'tools' were used to minimize risk and how they were applied.

The ten winners were chosen from 222 entries on the basis of content, adherence to the assigned topic, grammar, organization, originality and creativity. The contest challenges FFA members to apply their understanding of the principles of risk management in a 1000-word essay.

RMA will provide the winners and their advisors with a trip to Washington, D.C. from May 3-4, 2007 for a special RMA/FFA Day recognition ceremony at USDA.

This year's essay contest winners are:

  • Shelly Patton, Madison County FFA, Danielsville, Georgia
  • Emilie Kuhn, Rushville FFA, Rushville, Indiana
  • Gabriel Holdwick, Harbor Beach FFA, Harbor Beach, Michigan
  • Heather Mekelburg, Platte Valley Academy FFA, Shelton, Nebraska
  • Rachael Arkfeld, Lourdes Central Catholic FFA, Dunbar, Nebraska
  • Ashley Willis, Kingfisher FFA, Kingfisher, Oklahoma
  • Yancy Farney, Stafford FFA, Stafford, Kansas
  • Tyler Elsner, Fort Atkinson FFA, Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin
  • Andrew Bartlett, Merino FFA, Merino, Colorado
  • Katie Gillmore, Buhler FFA, Buhler, Kansas