Area students participate in state agriculture design contest

By Abe Winter And Denise Hartse Star Staff Writers


Riverview School first grader Jed Dixon drew the winning design in his class.

Students in Custer County can be quite clever.

If you don’t believe it, check out the winning entries in this year’s Show Me Montana Agriculture Design Contest.

Sponsored by Montana Farm Bureau, the contest is designed for elementary students. There will be eight winning entries — one overall and one each in the seven elementary grades of K-6 — in the state.

As part of National Ag Week, scheduled March 18-24, the eight state winners will be selected from the entries from counties across the state.

The Montana Farm Bureau took over the popular contest that has been running for many decades from the nowdefunct Agriculture in Montana Schools program.

“We do it every year and we’ve had some state winners come out of Custer County,” said Doug Ellingson, superintendent of Custer County schools. “There is one basic theme for each grade level.”

That would include Farm animals in Montana for grades K-1; grown in Montana (agriculture crops) for Grade 2; cattle in Montana (who, what, where and why of cattle), Grade 3; noxious weeds in Montana (a serious problem), Grade 4; grains of Montana (wheat, barley and many more), Grades 5; and agriculture-related career (1 in 5 jobs is related to agriculture), Grade 6.

The top three in each grade in Custer County received recognition. The top selections will be posted on the Montana Farm Bureau’s website and Facebook page.

With Agriculture in the Classroom having been removed from the school curriculum, much to the dismay of Ellingson, the Farm Bureau jumped right in as the sponsoring agency.

A press release states, “This contest is a wonderful opportunity to bring Montana agriculture education into your classroom.”

The contest, Ellingson said, is well-received by the elementary students.

“They come up with some clever ideas,” he said.

One winner will be chosen from each grade and one overall winner chosen from the winning drawings.

In March, each winner, his or her families, and teacher will be special guests of Montana Farm Bureau in Helena at an award luncheon. They will meet with state dignitaries and receive a tour of Helena.

Each of the entries was limited to 15 words and had to be placed on 4x11-inch paper.

And, most important, all entries were required to include the name of their state. Yes, MONTANA.