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John Shea, 202-690-0437


WASHINGTON, Apr 16, 2009 - RMA acting administrator William J. Murphy today announced the names of the ten national winners of the twelfth annual FFA Risk Management Strategies Writing Contest.

RMA partners with the FFA each year in sponsoring the essay contest, as a means of promoting awareness of managing risk in farming operations. "This contest provides an opportunity for FFA students to demonstrate what they have learned about the principles of risk management," Murphy said.

This year's winners were chosen from 198 entries on the basis of content, adherence to the assigned topic, grammar, organization, originality and creativity. The students submit an original 1000-word 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.

RMA will provide the winners and their advisors with a trip to Washington, D.C. on May 6-8, 2009 for a RMA/FFA Day at USDA where they will receive their awards, meet with their legislators, and tour Capitol Hill.

This year's essay contest winners are:

  • Thad Gorczyca, Harrah, Oklahoma, Harrah FFA
  • Hannah Georges, El Paso, Texas, Coronado-El Paso FFA
  • Joe Schartz, Humboldt, South Dakota, West Central FFA
  • Thomas Bader, Gresham, Nebraska, Centennial High FFA
  • Tyler Ray, Hallsville, Missouri, Hallsville FFA
  • Adam Francis, Norborne, Missouri, Norborne FFA
  • Mitchell Ross, Dunbar, Nebraska, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca FFA
  • Brandon Essink, Syracuse, Nebraska, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca FFA
  • Kaitlyn Gill, Lithia, Florida, Durant Senior FFA
  • Matthew Earnest, McDonough, Georgia, Ola FFA