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Contact: John Shea, 202-690-0437

WASHINGTON, Mar 27, 2008 - RMA administrator Eldon Gould today announced ten national winners of the eleventh annual FFA Risk Management Strategies Writing Contest.

RMA partners with the FFA each year in sponsoring the essay contest, as a means promoting awareness of managing risk in farming operations. "It is a pleasure to announce these student winners and draw attention to their accomplishments," Gould said. "Students gain valuable experience, learning to make good business decisions and manage risks wisely."

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 contest challenges FFA members to apply their understanding of the principles of risk management in their 1000-word essay. This year's winners were chosen from 188 entries on the basis of content, adherence to the assigned topic, grammar, organization, originality and creativity.

RMA will provide the winners and their advisors with a trip to Washington, D.C. on May 1-2, 2008 for a RMA/FFA Day recognition ceremony at USDA where they will receive their awards, as well as meet with their legislators and tour Capitol Hill.

This year's essay contest winners are:

  • Amanda Duvall, Ord, Nebraska; Ord FFA
  • Clayton Hawkins, Bethel, Missouri; North Shelby FFA
  • Courtney Hodges, Sterling City, Texas; Sterling City FFA
  • Eric Kamler, Shickley, Nebraska; Filmore Central FFA
  • Lacey Newlin, Cherokee, Oklahoma; Burlington FFA
  • Eric Post, Syracuse, Nebraska; Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca FFA
  • Blaise Scheef, Syracuse, Nebraska; Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca FFA
  • James Sledd, Paducah, Kentucky; Reidland FFA
  • Adam Venteicher, Pierce, Nebraska; Pierce FFA
  • Jeremy Weichel, Cordell, Oklahoma; Cordell FFA